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James Corden fought planning war with London neighbour who lives next to Chris Martin

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James Corden fought a planning war with he and Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s  next-door neighbour over controversial plans to build an ‘iceberg basement’. 

The celebrities, both based in Los Angeles, owned multimillion-pound properties in the upmarket Belsize Park area of North London – separated by a £600,000 garage conversion home. 

The pair were renting out their properties at up to £15,000-a-month each when their joint neighbour submitted proposals to build a large basement extension.

Corden, 42, who is rumoured to net up to £5million-a-year as host of The Late Late Show in the US, feared the plans could scupper the rental income from his four-storey £3.3million home.

In a bid to convince council planning chiefs to veto the plans, the comedian claimed the noise from the building work could impact on his tenants.

And, as part of the two-year planning battle, the London-born star submitted a formal objection to the proposals.

Coldplay front man Martin, who bought his London pad from Kate Winslet for £2.5million in 2004, did not formally objected to the plans.

But the singer, 44, was mentioned several times in planning documents submitted to local council chiefs.

Despite Corden’s objection, councillors gave the green light for the plans to go ahead – with much of the work now completed.

Representatives for Corden say the comedian no longer owns the Belsize property. 

James Corden fought a planning war with he and Coldplay singer Chris Martin's next-door neighbour over controversial plans to build an 'iceberg basement'. Pictured: The London home that Corden owned

James Corden fought a planning war with he and Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s next-door neighbour over controversial plans to build an ‘iceberg basement’. Pictured: The London home that Corden owned 

The comedian's four-storey £3.3million home was connected to the comparatively small garage conversion  (pictured) - thought to be worth around £600,000

The comedian’s four-storey £3.3million home was connected to the comparatively small garage conversion  (pictured) – thought to be worth around £600,000

Coldplay frontman Martin, who bought his London pad from Kate Winslet for £2.5million in 2004, has not formally objected to the plans

Coldplay frontman Martin, who bought his London pad from Kate Winslet for £2.5million in 2004, has not formally objected to the plans

As part of a two-year planning battle, the London-born star submitted a formal objection to his neighbour's proposals (pictured)

As part of a two-year planning battle, the London-born star submitted a formal objection to his neighbour’s proposals (pictured)

The bitter battle between Corden and his neighbour, Benjamin Miranda, began soon after the comedian purchased the four-storey townhouse in 2012.

The subterranean palaces under your feet: What is an iceberg basement?

The stunning multimillion-pound mansions and town houses of some of London’s fanciest districts are eye-catching enough from the outside.

But sometimes the stunning exterior is just the tip of the iceberg.

Built into the basements of some of these gorgeous properties are huge underground extension – with pools, spas and cinemas.

They have become increasingly popular in high-end neighbourhoods such as Chelsea, Kensington and Westminster.

Figures from 2008 to 2017, compiled by Newcastle University, show plans for almost 1,000 gyms, 376 pools, 456 cinemas, 381 wine stores and cellars and 115 staff rooms were given the green light by councils in London’s most prestigious areas.

One £25million mansion in Notting Hill  which went on sale in 2018 boasted a double-layer basement with a 21-metre swimming pool – almost as big as your average leisure centre.

These subterranean palaces are not cheap, and not easy to build, with some taking two years to complete.  

And it’s not always straight forward – which Goldman Sachs boss Christoph Stanger found out when part of his £7million Kensington home collapsed in 2012 while excavation work was being carried out.

Rules have been tightened in recent years – leading to a decline in demand.

Applications for basements lodged in Westminster fell by 27 per cent in 2019, according to the Times.

‘Buyers are becoming less excited about amenities that require maintenance and can easily go wrong,’ says Marc Schneiderman of north London prime estate agents, Arlington Residential, told the Telegraph.

 

Miranda’s comparatively tiny, two-floor, two-bed, converted garage is squeezed in-between Corden and Martin’s massive pads.  

Corden first riled Miranda by applying for planning permission to Camden Council in February 2013. 

The star submitted plans to erect a single story extension with roof terrace over to rear of the property.

Miranda wrote two letters of objection to the council in which he stated he’d even met Corden to talk about his plans and had been assured that they wouldn’t be building an ‘overpowering structure’.

Miranda was concerned that the extension would ’cause a boxing-in effect on an already small property’ and raised concerned that it was not ‘aesthetically pleasing’.

Corden won that round with planning permission being given two months later, but the bad blood had set in.

When Miranda applied in 2017 to build an entirely new basement, Corden raised fears the excavation work would cause permanent damage to both his and and Martin’s house.

It started two years of rows with Corden employing solicitors, construction consultants, surveyors, architects and luxury estate agents.

The planning professional produced reports against the development, which had added complications as the warring pair shared a communal walkway.

Corden’s solicitors Town Legal LLP wrote a letter in July 2018 claiming vital documents relating to the plans weren’t available on the council website and that Corden and wife Julia, 45, had been given false information.

At this point, Corden, who was pictured in 2014 moving into the property with the help of Hollywood star Anne Hathaway, wasn’t living at the Belsize Park home, having relocating to Los Angeles in 2015.

Instead he was renting the townhouse out to professionals.

In November 2018, his tenant management agents, Atlantic Swiss, sent a further letter of objection complaining that Miranda’s development would lead to some of Corden’s staff being given the sack if it was approved.

The letter also claimed that no professionals would want to rent the property during the ‘full-term of the works’, adding: ‘As a direct result of the inability to rent the property, we will lose revenue. 

‘As a consequence this will affect the employment of three staff at the property. 

The bitter battle between Corden (pictured) and his neighbour, Benjamin Miranda, began soon after the comedian purchased the four-storey townhouse in 2012

The bitter battle between Corden (pictured) and his neighbour, Benjamin Miranda, began soon after the comedian purchased the four-storey townhouse in 2012

Martin, did not object to the plans but has been mentioned several times in planning documents submitted to local council chiefs

Martin, did not object to the plans but has been mentioned several times in planning documents submitted to local council chiefs

‘Namely, the housekeeper, gardener/building maintenance man and one of our building managers based at our office.

‘As the property is tenanted by professionals, they expect us to maintain a high level of service at all times. This will be impossible with building work on the doorstep.

‘I know the noise excavations can cause. As our tenants are professionals who will require quiet to work, the disruption will not be acceptable to them.’

In December 2018, Corden employed building consultants Ridge and Partners LLP to provide a ‘technical review of the construction program’.

Metropolis argued that Corden and Martin’s walls were at risk by the plans (pictured) and the development hadn’t demonstrated its 'structural stability’

Metropolis argued that Corden and Martin’s walls were at risk by the plans (pictured) and the development hadn’t demonstrated its ‘structural stability’

They claim that the works (pictured: Plans for the work) would take at least 37 weeks, the joint driveway would have to be closed for at least 30 weeks of it, and not only would it be noisy, but there’d be a ‘risk of vibration and movement’

They claim that the works (pictured: Plans for the work) would take at least 37 weeks, the joint driveway would have to be closed for at least 30 weeks of it, and not only would it be noisy, but there’d be a ‘risk of vibration and movement’

They claimed that the works would take at least 37 weeks, the joint driveway would have to be closed for at least 30 weeks of it, and not only would it be noisy, but there’d be a ‘risk of vibration and movement’.

Planning experts and architects Metropolis wrote a further letter of objection in April 2019, and also produced a planning and design report.

The report stated that the basement extension didn’t ‘preserve the character’ of the area, and was ‘excessive depth and scale’.

Metropolis argued that Corden and Martin’s walls were at risk and the development hadn’t demonstrated its ‘structural stability’.

Yet despite Corden’s complaints, in July 2019, Camden Council approved the application, with some legal conditions, before being finally rubber-stamping the plans the following October.

Building work appears to have now just about finished on Miranda’s property as damp-proof specialists were seen visiting recently.  

The council decision notice stated that it didn’t think there would be any substantial harm to Corden or Martin’s properties.

The notice adds: ‘Plan in so far as it would not cause harm to neighbouring properties; the structural, ground or water conditions of the area; the character and amenity of the area; the architectural character of the building; and the significance of heritage assets.’ 

Miranda did not respond to attempts for comment. MailOnline has contacted representatives for James Corden and Chris Martin for comment.

A representative for Corden said the comedian and his wife no longer own the property. Representatives for Martin declined to comment.

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Higgins raises concerns over volume of legislation received in recent weeks

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Two Oireachtas committees are being convened at short notice to consider concerns raised by President Michael D. Higgins at the volume of legislation sent to his office in recent weeks.

In a letter to the Ceann Comhairle, the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad and the Department of the Taoiseach, Mr Higgins said an “overwhelming number of Bills” were presented for his consideration in the final two weeks before the Christmas and summer recesses.

“For example, in the three weeks since the beginning of July I have been asked to consider 19 separate Bills. Nine were presented on the one day, sharing a requirement to be considered and signed in the same seven-day period,” he wrote, pointing out that in the entire preceding six months, he was presented with 13 Bills for consideration.

Last year, 21 of the total of 32 Bills presented to him were sent in the weeks approaching summer and Christmas recesses.

“It would strike me, as President and from my years as a parliamentarian, that there must be a more orderly approach to arranging the legislative timetable that allows all legislators the time to consider and contribute to proposals before the Oireachtas without unnecessary time constraints and an unseemly end-of-term haste to have Bills concluded,” the President wrote.

“Having this vital work concentrated into four weeks of the year strikes me as being less than ideal and, I believe, unnecessary.”

Mr Higgins noted that little time was being given over in the Oireachtas to debate often “very important and far-reaching legislative proposals”.

He said the process has “been curtailed through the imposition of restrictions on time in one or both Houses”.

He said amendments put down by Oireachtas members were often not discussed, and those proposed by the Government were at times “carried without an opportunity for scrutiny or debate”.

The President noted an “unseemly end-of-term haste”to pass legislation and said a “real prospect” of having to convene the Council of State in the days after Christmas day to consider Bills had arisen more than once.

Seán Ó Fearghaíl, the Ceann Comhairle, told The Irish Times that the Dáil’s Business Committee and the Seanad’s Committee on Procedures would meet on Friday to consider the letter, and actions open to the Oireachtas to consider.

There have been renewed concerns during the lifetime of this Dáil about the use of the guillotine to force Government legislation through without extensive oversight, with several heavyweight pieces of legislation passed in a matter of days before the Oireachtas rose for its summer break earlier this month.

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Who do I need to notify if I move home?

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Moving house is frequently said to be one of the most stressful things anyone can do.

The massive investment both financially and emotionally can take its toll, especially if the process takes months to complete.

It is why anything that helps to elevate some of the stress along the way can be hugely beneficial. This includes addressing some of the practicalities in advance, and having a list of who to notify when you move can help. 

We look at some of the organisations and companies who you may need to contact when you move home

We look at some of the organisations and companies who you may need to contact when you move home

Dozens of companies will need to know your new address, whether this is an insurer who may use them to help calculate your insurance premiums or a retailer who need to know where to send the clothing you ordered online.

Without updating them, you may endure a bigger headache from moving home than you had anticipated.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf, said: ‘When moving home, it is vital to plan ahead. Moving day can come upon you very quickly, particularly if there is a short time between exchange and completion.

‘Buildings insurance is the most important thing that needs arranging on your new property as soon as you have exchanged contracts.

‘Confirm your moving date with your removals firm and make a list of who needs notifying about your impending change of address – the electoral roll, the DVLA, Amazon and other delivery firms, particularly supermarket deliveries. The last thing you want is for your orders to turn up at your ‘old’ address once you have moved.

‘Don’t forget to change your council tax, while utility providers will also need informing, and given final meter readings. The more you plan ahead, the smoother the process will be.’ 

A checklist for who to notify when you change address can help to elevate some of the stress of moving home

A checklist for who to notify when you change address can help to elevate some of the stress of moving home

Tom Parker, of property website Zoopla, agreed: ‘Moving home can be overwhelming with so much to do. When it comes to notifying organisations, it’s best to divide it into digestible categories like work, household and vehicle.

‘Notifying your employer is a top priority, especially if your payslips are sent to your home. If you own a vehicle, ensure you update your driving licence, insurance providers and vehicle logbook.  

‘Make sure you also notify organisations like your broadband, utilities, insurance providers and council tax. Finally, don’t forget the small things like magazine subscriptions and store cards.’

Here we look at some of the organisations and companies who you may need to contact when you move home.

Employment 

Perhaps one of the most important and probably most overlooked places that need to be notified of your change of address is HMRC, which needs to know for tax purposes.  

Similarly, your employer needs to know when you change address for your payroll, so that it can update your contact details.

In addition, your National Insurance number helps the Government to identify you and is used by the organisations such as the DVLA and HMRC, so this will need your new address attached. 

Household

There are various companies providing services to your household that will need to know about your move so that they can update your contact information.

In some cases, you may end up continuing to pay for a service in your former home that you are no longer using if you fail to update these companies.

They include your cable or satellite provider, your phone and broadband company. It is also important to update your TV licence contact details, which can be done up to three months before a move.

Vehicles

You can update DVLA via its website and within two to four weeks, you should receive an updated licence and V5C log book documents for your car. Failing to update the log book could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

You will also need to notify the supplier of your vehicle breakdown cover and your car insurer.

Insurance

Most insurers take postcodes into account when calculating premiums and the cost of insurance cover, so they will need to be notified of your change of address. 

You may need to contact those insurers who provide cover for household contents, health, life, travel and your pets.

Healthcare

As well as your health insurer, you will also need to provide your address to other healthcare organisations.

For example, if you change doctors when you move home, you will need to let your old doctor know so that your medical information can be forwarded to your new doctor. This may similarly apply to your dentists and opticians.

Utilities

Your gas, electricity and water suppliers will need your updated contact information, even if you are leaving them behind at the old property and taking on new suppliers.

It can take a couple of days for energy providers to update your information, so it is worth contacting your suppliers ahead of your move. However, you may be able to move your deal to your new property.

Make sure you take readings of your utilities on the day of your move so you can update your suppliers with these and only pay for the amounts you have used. 

Royal Mail’s redirection service may be worth considering as it forwards any post sent to your former address to your new address. You can apply for the redirection up to three months before your moving date.

Money

There are several companies and organisations that fall into this category and will need to know your new contact address.

They include bank and building societies, your pension providers, loan companies, credit card providers and store cards. If you are on a state pension, the Government will need to know your new details.

Similarly, you will need to update your address for council tax purposes.

Others include your accountant as you don’t want important tax documents going to your old address (if you are not using the a postal redirection service). And don’t forget updating NS&I with your new address if you put money into premium bonds.

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Ireland ‘one of world’s best five places’ to survive global societal collapse

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Ireland is one of the world’s five places best suited to survive a global collapse of society, according to a new study. The others are Iceland, Tasmania, the UK and, topping the list, New Zealand.

The researchers say human civilisation is “in a perilous state” because of the highly interconnected and energy-intensive society that has developed and the environmental damage this has caused.

A collapse could arise from shocks such as a severe financial crisis, the effects of the climate crisis, destruction of nature, an even worse pandemic than Covid-19 or a combination of these, the scientists says.

To assess which nations would be most resilient to such a collapse, countries were ranked according to their ability to grow food for their population, protect their borders from unwanted mass migration, and maintain an electrical grid and some manufacturing ability. Islands in temperate regions and mostly with low population densities have come out on top.

The researchers say their study highlights the factors that nations must improve to increase resilience. They say that a globalised society that prizes economic efficiency has damaged resilience, and that spare capacity needs to exist in food and other vital sectors.

Billionaires have been reported to be buying land for bunkers in New Zealand in preparation for an apocalypse. “We weren’t surprised New Zealand was on our list,” says Prof Aled Jones, at the Global Sustainability Institute, at Anglia Ruskin University, in the UK.

“We chose that you had to be able to protect borders and places had to be temperate. So with hindsight it’s quite obvious that large islands with complex societies on them already” make up the list.

The study, published in the journal Sustainability, says: “The globe-spanning, energy-intensive industrial civilisation that characterises the modern era represents an anomalous situation when it is considered against the majority of human history.”

The study also says that environmental destruction, limited resources and population growth mean civilisation “is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour”.

New Zealand was found to have the greatest potential to survive relatively unscathed due to its geothermal and hydroelectric energy, abundant agricultural land and low human population density.

Jones says major global food losses, a financial crisis and a pandemic have all happened in recent years, and “we’ve been lucky that things haven’t all happened at the same time – there’s no real reason why they can’t all happen in the same year”.

He adds: “As you start to see these events happening I get more worried, but I also hope we can learn more quickly than we have in the past that resilience is important. With everyone talking about ‘building back better’ from the pandemic, if we don’t lose that momentum I might be more optimistic than I have been in the past.”

He says the coronavirus pandemic has shown that governments can act quickly when needed. “It’s interesting how quickly we can close borders, and how quickly governments can make decisions to change things.”

But, he adds, “This drive for just-in-time, ever-more-efficient economies isn’t the thing you want to do for resilience. We need to build in some slack in the system, so that if there is a shock then you have the ability to respond because you’ve got spare capacity. We need to start thinking about resilience much more in global planning. But, obviously, the ideal thing is that a quick collapse doesn’t happen.” – Guardian

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