Queen guitarist Brian May is set to depart London after nearly two decades following flood damage to his Kensington mansion.
The music icon called the capital a “brutal” place to live after the basement of his £7m home was flooded, ruining many of his and wife Anita Dobson’s childhood photo albums and memorabilia.
“The funny thing is we actually hated living where we are for a long time,” the 74-year-old told the Mirror. “We put a lot of love and care into building the house but the surroundings have been horrible for such a long time.”
The guitarist said the move out of the city had been prompted by the recent flooding but added that the noise and pollution had plagued his living situation in Kensington.
“They have been building basements now for about eight years all around and there is constant noise, traffic and dust and pollution and rudeness. London now is brutal.
“What this flood has done is be the catalyst. We are going to get out. We just have to leave.”
May described how the flooring in his basement was “floating with black sewage”, and added that, “For us it is time to quit and I am OK about that now.”
Taking to Instagram to detail his woes, May said the recent flooding in Kensington was a result of the influx in basement building over the past 10 years.
However, a spokesperson for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea told City A.M. that there was no link between basement building and flooding.
“Flash floods have affected boroughs across London this summer after sudden and torrential rainfall. This caused damage and disruption across the city, not just here in just here in Kensington and Chelsea and is not linked to basement building.
“During flooding in July, we had 120 people who were evacuated from their homes in one evening. We provided emergency accommodation and are continuing to support those in need.”