1 May 2014 p7 by Hannah Furness, Arts Correspondent
THE upmarket streets of Kensington have become a “hellhole” to live in, Brian May has said, attacking “selfish” neighbours who carry out endless building works. The guitarist with the rock band Queen, accused residents near his London home of “declaring war” on his family, with constant noise from a giant drill he likened to an “instrument of torture”.
Two homes on his street are undergoing major development, including the construction of a two-storey basement.
May condemned the “monstrous invasion”, declaring his neighbours “b——-” and local planning rules “nonsensical”. He called for wholesale reform of the planning process.
“Life has become very selfish,” he said. “The more money people have the more selfish people are and the more power they have to ruin the lives of their neighbours.”
He said he may be forced to move due to a feeling of “powerlessness” coupled with the stress of constant noise which had left him ill.
“Kensington used to be a nice, quiet. decent place to live,” he added. “Now it is becoming a hellhole.”
A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea council said: “We already use the laws available to us to limit disturbance during construction. We are now proposing new policies designed to reduce the scale of subterranean developments and control the growth of very large properties.”