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 City Council commissioned Alan Baxter, an engineering consultancy, to prepare a technical document on the issues involved with the construction of basements.
In July Alan Baxter published Westminster City Council’s Residential Basement Report which they used to influence their own consultation document which has just been published and is titled: Basements: Developing Westminster’s Local Plan LDF Consultation – CMP Revision October 2013
Rodic Davidson Architects have prepared a summary document: The proposed changes to Westminster Basement Policy