Embassies join forces in battle against mega-basement

A coalition missions in Embassy Row – including Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, Lebanon and Japan – have joined French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann in her fight to block the building of a mega-basement by their neighbour, the Foxtons property tycoon John Hunt.

When the French Ambassador lost her battle in the High Court, she and fellow ambassadors resident on Kensington Palace Gardens, took their fight to the Court of Appeal, invoking the 1961 Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations. Article 22 obliges the host state to protect the premises of diplomats against “intrusion or damage” and prevent “disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity”.