Flooding near the Angel Islington highlights need for basement information

The Angel Islington is a well-known property in Monopoly, and if you know the area, it’s a short walk up the Pentonville Road from Kings Cross. Situated on a hill, it’s not an area where you might expect flooding is a problem, but it was in the news last week after a water main burst.

As the BBC news report (5 December 2016) mentions, about 100 people were evacuated from their homes, water was up to 2m deep in the basements of some properties, and there was significant damage to homes and businesses.

Basements are at obvious risk from flooding from all sources, and because of their importance, we’ve started collecting information about the presence of basements within our UKBuildings product.

A basement is defined as part or all of a structure that is below the surrounding ground level and has either an exterior door/entrance or some way of allowing light into the structure—a window, grill, glass panels in the pavement, etc. A building is classified as having a basement if there is evidence from the street of either the door/entrance, a window, or grill.

Basements are typically found in pre-1914 residential properties. They can occur in modern houses but are far less common. Basements are also found in non-residential buildings, such as public houses, churches, Victorian school buildings, Victorian retail high streets, and modern tall office blocks.

The heat map below shows the areas with a high proportion of basements in the Islington area. The darker the colour, the higher is the density of buildings with basements. (Background mapping is UKMap, ©The GeoInformation Group 2016). As might be expected, there are areas with a high proportion of buildings with basements.

The basement data below (properties with basements are highlighted in black) is shown on a background of our detailed UKMap large scale mapping.

The GeoInformation Group supplies our UKBuildings product to many utility and insurance companies for use in a variety of applications. We’re currently working with water companies to provide information about buildings with basements to them, too. That will allow them to analyse the risk of incidents, like the one in Islington, and prioritise maintenance and renewal programs accordingly.

Please email us for more details info@geoinformationgroup.co.uk

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