• Former house of pop star Duffy
  • £3.8m town house was undergoing basement redevelopment
  • Roads closed for hours causing traffic misery

A multi-million pound riverside townhouse, which was undergoing extensive basement redevelopment, collapsed in Barnes today.

The £3.8m six-bedroom Georgian house in The Terrace, close to the River Thames, fell down shortly before midday.

It displayed a blue plaque in honour Ebenezer Cobb Morley, a founder member of the FA who wrote the rules of modern football.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

The Terrace was closed off while the emergency services dealt with the collapsed building

The grand building's basement was being developed to include a cinema room, an entertainment area, a gym and a laundry room.

Nobody was injured.

Witness Stephen Beard, of Second Avenue, said: "I saw the building collapse when I was walking down the towpath.

"I was attracted by the sound of it collapsing and it all came down, there was a hell of a big rush.

"I was the nearest person to the building at the time and saw the dust rising up."

He added there were early suggestions the collapse was related to the extensive building work being carried out, including the excavation of the basement.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

The extent of the damage is laid bare in this before and after picture

Richmond Council granted permission for the iceberg development on October 17, 2014.

Work was also being carried out on other floors of the house, which was also previously lived in by pop singer Duffy.

Nicolette King, who lives in Barnes, said: "The building was empty for a while before it was done up but not very well, I watched the window rotting.

"I spoke to the new builders, who said the building just collapsed around them."



She added that a neighbouring house was "leaning" after the Georgian home, situated on the junction with Elm Bank Gardens, collapsed.

Police were called at about 11.50am and evacuated people in neighbouring properties.

Roads surrounding the house were closed while police and firefighters dealt with the situation.

A Richmond Council spokesman said: "As soon as Richmond Council was made aware of the collapsed building, council officers went to the site to inspect the building.

"We are now overseeing the work to ensure that the building is made safe.”

The Health and Safety Executive have been informed.