Basement building bastards


I have spent a good part of the last four years fighting for the right of animals to a decent life. 

Now I’m launching into a battle for my own quality of life. 

Once again, it’s a battle that would not need to be fought if there weren’t people in the world who are insistent on the right to behave in an entirely selfish and brutish way. 

To cut a long story short (in which many of us knew that something awful was about to happen to us in our neighbourhood, and tried, unsuccessfully, to stop it) I woke up one morning and looked out of my bedroom window to a sight something like this. 

Pile Drill
Pile Drill

What’s the blot on the landscape ?  It’s an instrument of torture, which most of us would call a giant drill, but which seems to be known in the building business as a Piling Rig.  For the past four months, my whole life has been dominated by this infernal machine.  I’ve lost sleep day after day, been unable to sit in my garden, and been unable to find any place in my house where I could escape from the awful noise this thing generates, in spite of the fact that our entire house is double-glazed, and parts of it triple glazed. To be trying to live in our house has been like being a position where someone is hitting you over the head for eight hours a day, six days a week, for a period which threatens to stretch to two years, and have no way of escape or retaliation.  In the end, it drives you out of your mind, and you want to ___ someone.  

Whom would a peaceful person like myself fantasise about making suffer ?  ? 

Well, that would be the people who have passed sentence on me, without me having committed a crime – the people who have declared war on me and my family, to whom I had done no harm.  

The builders, of course, are only doing their job, and, though it would be nice if they acted in a considerate manner, it’s the owners of the property who are the ones who are really guilty of this of this monstrous invasion of my life. 

These people decided that they’d increase the value of their house by building a basement which is the whole area of the garden, and two stories deep.  They would have been told that this would entail a huge machine like this piling rig, this auger, to drill 174 holes over a period of about four months, the machine making a screaming and whining noise which drives anyone within earshot to distraction, and indeed there are at least 30 houses within earshot.  They further knew that the heavy machinery of breakers, diggers, and loading trucks would be making a level of noise which would make conversation impossible in our gardens for approximately 18 months, and even then the building work, with its accompanying noise and disruption, would not be finished until well past the two year mark.  

It’s almost impossible to believe, but these people, knowing that they would make life intolerable for all their neighbours for literally years, said … yes, OK, we’ll go ahead.  

Shouldn’t they have been denied permission ?  Yes, they should, but the nonsensical rules of the local council provide that objections to building works can only be lodged on the basis of the long-term effect – the eventual outcome of the works, not the misery caused on the way.  It’s actually impossible to lodge an objection to an unreasonable scheme on the basis that lives will be ruined for years by this development. 

So these people were given permission to go ahead.  Now just because an antisocial action doesn’t break the law, does that mean that the perpetrators should not be held to account for the damage they do to us ?  Do they not deserve to be punished for attacking our way of life ?  We are constantly losing sleep … the drilling starts at 8 am and can go on til past 5.  We are stressed, angry, constantly irritated, and wracked by feelings of powerlessness – this is exactly the kind of long-term stress that causes damage to health.  We can never sit in our gardens and enjoy the sunshine, read a book, enjoy a peaceful moment on the grass …  What is the value of the loss of these amenities which we all worked most of our lives to attain ?  

How much compensation should these bastards pay us ?   We all scurry around wasting our time and energy trying to put up more glazing, and engaging experts to monitor the noise and try to negotiate some consideration.  We suffer continual lack of sleep so our efficiency in our work suffers.   I have been working long hours and late hours on a workshop for a new show.  But every morning at 8am the Hellish noise begins.  I am getting more and more worn down.  There is no escape unless we move out of our house.  And who will pay for that ? 

Why, when decent people work all their lives to be able to afford to live in a nice residential area, should bastards like this be able to take it all away ?  How many more of these awful machines are there out there ?  

How many more of you out there are suffering this intolerable attack on your peace and quiet ?  I’d like to hear from you.  You know, if this inappropriate disruption were in the cause of something needed for the common good, like a road or an underpass, you might just consider it justifiable.  But all this suffering is all because of one man’s greed and lack of decency.  He wants to increase the value of his property, so he feels justified in inflicting any amount of pain on his fellow residents.  Pure selfishness. 

I believe these people have to be stopped.  Perhaps if we all value our peace and quiet at a million pounds, and we all sue the bastards at the same time … they might think twice about behaving like this again.  

This is an appeal for help.  

Certainly living in Kensington is becoming intolerable, and will get worse and worse the longer this nonsense goes on.  Believe it or not, this is not the first time this has happened to us.  Seven years ago our neighbours when we were in our former house just down the street made our lives Hell for three years – building basements – I won’t mention their names – and it got so bad we had to move.  Now this happened, and we actually have TWO of these basement developments going on within 100 yards of our house.  You know what ?  Shouldn’t we just wait patiently till it’s over to start enjoying our homes ?  No such luck.  When they finish, other selfish bastards will start doing the same thing.   Some of them have already got planning permission.  Kensington used to be a nice quiet decent place to live.  Now it is becoming a Hellhole.   

Time to take action.