An interior designer is demanding compensation after her neighbours’ basement extension allegedly ruined her £100,000 kitchen and caused it to sink.

Hugh and Reiko Stewart said their Kensington, London, home – which is estimated at around £8.5 million – has been severely damaged and they will have to replace their luxury, Smallbone kitchen.

Reiko, who owns Argyll Design, and her husband, are demanding a compensation pay-out worth £85,950 from their neighbours in Argyll Street.

The ‘excavation works’ have been carried out by international financier Bis Subramanian and partner Laura Vidal-Oregui Subramanian, under their six-bedroom home, worth £10 million, since early 2014.

The Stewarts initially refused to consent but the digging was eventually allowed to proceed on the condition it ‘must not cause unnecessary inconvenience to adjoining owners’.

But they claim the works have caused ‘structural movement’ in their home and has damaged other areas of the house, including causing the kitchen floor to ‘tilt’.

Mr and Mrs Subramanian deny they are liable to give their neighbours a penny and claim the slope in their kitchen was not caused by their work and was there before.



In February 2014, the Subramanians reapplied to the council asking for an extension of the basement depth, along with a sash window and bi-folding door to the rear lower ground floor.

In 2017, each couple appointed a surveyor with both agreeing the alleged damage had been caused by the Subramanians’ digging.

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A third neutral surveyor then ruled they had to pay the Stewarts £85,950 for the damage to their kitchen cabinetwork.

He made the award after concluding their top-end units, which were handmade, could not be taken out then reinstalled to allow the floor to be levelled, but instead had to be replaced.

But the Subramanians’ surveyor withdrew before the award process could be completed and a replacement surveyor took a very different view of the situation.

He claimed the kitchen slope had nothing to do with the extension and Mr Subramanian – former vice president at Morgan Stanley and his partner, refused to pay the £85,950, leading the Stewarts to take them to court.

In July last year, City of London magistrates ruled the money was payable and could be enforced by the Stewarts as a civil debt against their neighbours.

Detectives investigating a noxious substance attack have released an e-fit of the man they would like to speak to in connection with the attack. Police were called at around 11:30hrs on Monday, 8 April to reports of a noxious substance being thrown at a driver and passenger of a vehicle on County Road near the junction of Norbury Avenue in Thornton Heath. Officers, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and London Ambulance Service (LAS) attended. LAS took the two victims ???????? a 63-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl, who are known to each other ???????? to a south London hospital where their injuries were deemed non-life threatening. An assessment by the LFB concluded that the substance thrown at the two victims was sulphuric acid. The victims and witnesses told police, via their interviews, that they had been driving along County Road towards Highbury Avenue when a white van started driving towards them. Due to the road not being wide enough for two cars to pass, the victim tried to move into a space in front of a parked motorbike. As she was trying to do this, the white van was driven forward so that it was parallel to the victim????????s car. At this point, the victim wound down the driver????????s side window to try and engage with the driver of the van, however before she could speak to the male driver, he squirted a liquid from a plastic ???????squeezy???????? bottle hitting her and her passenger.Woman and girl sprayed with acid from van in drive-by attack

But the Subramanians challenged the decision in the High Court and Judge Rowena Collins Rice has now found the case in their favour.

Judge Rice said given the new expert evidence, the issue of whether the Subramanians are liable to pay compensation has not yet been resolved.



The dispute will be determined by another neutral surveyor.