Rodić Davidson Architects

Basements in RBKC: Has a new precedent been set?


St Johns WoodSt Johns Wood

An article was published in the Evening Standard today: “We’ve spent £100,000, say neighbours fighting basement development”

The owner of a house in Strathmore Gardens achieved Planning Permission to construct a 2 storey basement 18 months ago. Strathmore Gardens is in RBKC and so it must be assumed that Planning Consent was acheived in accordance with their adopted Subterranean Development SPD. That neighbours objected is not unusual. What makes this case unusual is that the planning permission was overturned at judicial review on the basis that it would cause disruption and damage to their properties.

By adoption of the Subterranean SPD, RBKC were the first Local Authority to adopt specific basement planning policies. However, increasingly, RBKC have been faced with a series of judicial review applications concerning basement developments for which they have granted planning consent.

In April 2012 RBKC published a document titled ‘Basement Extensions: Issues’ which sets out the existing Council policies and questions whether these policies should be changed.

Tim Ahern is the RBKC Cabinet member for Planning Policy and we understand that one of the revisions almost certain to be adopted is the removal of Permitted Development rights for basements within the Borough, thereby requiring all basements to require full planning consent. Currently RBKC states that ‘as a rule of thumb, a single storey basement addition to a single dwellinghouse that does not project beyond the original footprint of the property may be considered permitted development.’




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