‘Mole Man’ house likely to be demolished
Permission has been granted to demolish the famed ‘Mole Man’ house in Hackney, whose former owner secretly burrowed a warren of 20-metre tunnels under the property.
The London house has been decaying since the eccentric former owner, civil engineer William Lyttle, died in 2009, with redevelopment plans thwarted by the fact that Hackney Borough Council was unwilling to allow demolition.
The council has now conceded, however, that demolition is the only way forward for the site, accepting that the period exterior in the De Beauvoir conservation area will have to be sacrificed.
The plot is due to be auctioned on July 19 at the Everyman Cinema in Belsize Park, with a guide price of £750,000. Robin King, from the agents handling the sale, Move With Us, said that there had already been major interest in the plot, particularly as it already has planning permission for two three-storey town houses.
“I’m certain we’ll see some strong bidding because this is a hot area,” Mr King said. “We’ve had over 50 requests for the legal pack and are getting around 10 calls a day.”
Many of the tunnels were filled in with cement for safety purposes after the council first discovered the network in 2006, quickly rehousing Mr Lyttle, as the structure was already unstable. Plans to sell it last year for £500,000 fell through because it could not be demolished.