Basements: the proposed changes in Westminster
Rodic Davidson Architects work on many projects involving the creation of a new basement whether this be single storey, two stories or on occasion, three stories deep. We currently have a number of projects in Westminster, RBKC and Camden which incorporate a new basement, with each Local Authority taking a different planning policy approach. Notably, Westminster differs from RBKC in that it is still possible to achieve consent for basement development underneath the footprint of a listed building. The RBKC Subterranean Development SPD adopted in 2009, removed the right of homeowners to build a basement under the footprint of a listed building (but still allowed basement development in the garden of a listed building, subject to strict criteria). Indeed, and unlike RBKC, Westminster have not, to date, adopted a specific basement policy. This position is changing and Westminster is now reviewing its policies regarding residential basements. In early 2013, Westminster…
RBKC basement consultation commences
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is proposing stricter planning rules for basement extensions. The proposed changes were put to public consultation today. RBKC press release, titled 'council calls time on iceberg houses' is available here. Three significant proposals are: 1. An outright ban on basements under, or in the gardens of, listed buildings. 2. A restriction to single storey (the exception only being for large, comprehensive developments). 3. A reduction in the extent that basements can extend into the garden (a reduction from 85% to 50%). The consultation paper also confirms that RBKC is considering introducing ‘Article 4 Directions’ to restrict permitted development rights that currently allow basement development without express planning permission from the Council. This would mean a number of basement schemes requiring planning permission that are currently exempt. The consultation document is available for download here.