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Revealed: How 4,650 mega-basements have been approved for London homes in the past decade so the sup

4,650 basements approved for London homes between 2008 and 2017 - including 112 'mega basements'

  • 1,000 gyms, 380 pools, 460 cinemas, 380 wine cellars and 120 staff rooms feature in plans from 2008-17

  • Combined depth of all basements approved in London since 2008 is 50,000ft - 50 times height of Shard

The extraordinary scale of London 's basements was revealed today as a study found 4,650 have been approved in just a decade as the super rich aim to improve their mansions with swimming pools, wine cellars and gyms.

'Iceberg homes' up to 59ft (18m) deep are being placed into Britain's richest areas such as Kensington and Chelsea as the wealthy add astonishing amenities including artificial beaches and even car museums under their homes.

Turkish baths, cigar rooms and banqueting halls are also among the features, with around 1,000 gyms, 380 pools, 460 cinemas, 380 wine stores and 120 staff rooms found in basement plans in the capital between 2008 and 2017.

The combined depth of every basement approved by seven London boroughs in the past decade is 50,160ft (15,289m) - 50 times the height of The Shard – with two of the basements said to include multiple pools.

Basement plan map.

Plans for billionaire Jon Hunt's basement at his £15million home on Kensington Palace Gardens

The basements feature a total of about 550 media rooms, 340 games rooms, 240 saunas or steam rooms and 60 underground garages and parking facilities.

Emma Dent Coad, the Labour MP for Kensington and Chelsea, told the Guardian: 'I have sympathy for people who need more space for an expanding family.

While we have people sleeping on the streets we really have to look at what we're doing in our borough because that is bad planning.'

The study concluded that the sharp rise in basement construction over the past decade is 'emblematic of the profound plutocratisation of London'.

The authors, led by professor of cities Roger Burrows, added: 'The global excesses of wealth, focused upon such a small fragment of the global population, now find spatial expression in many of the neighbourhoods of central London.

'At a time when so many households face a crisis in their housing circumstances, the new subterranean geography of London is deeply symbolic of the realities of the intensification of global inequalities and their spatial expression.'

The researchers looked at the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Camden, Islington and Wandsworth.

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