The independent London newspaper

House collapse in West Hampstead ‘was due to HGV’

Owners want to rebuild front of Sumatra Road property

21 February, 2019

A HOUSE which dramatically collapsed in West Hampstead fell because of an incident involving a delivery truck, planners have been told.

The building in Sumatra Road was at the centre of newspaper headlines when emergency services were called to the scene in February last year.

Nobody was injured, although around 10 construction workers were said to have had a “lucky escape” and neighbours needed to be evacuated.

Permission had been granted to extend a basement in 2013. It has been boarded up in recent months and the property’s owners are now seeking permission to continue with the work and rebuild the front.

It will lead to the creation of three flats. Paperwork filed at the Town Hall said the fall of the “front wall of the building” had been widely reported in the press.

But it added that a further detail which had not been previously stated, was that the collapse was the “the result of a recent incident involving a HGV delivering goods the site”.

It added: “There is now a requirement to undertake extensive works to the host building to reinstate the front elevation and the internal floors to once again make the building structurally sound.

The application building is at present structurally supported by scaffolding and internal braces.”

When the facade fell, stunned passers-by had been able to see inside of the house – a first-floor fireplace could be seen still attached to the wall, with a solitary cup of coffee on the mantelpiece.


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