Basement Development Planning



Securing planning consent for basement developments is far from straightforward.  Basement are viewed by Local Authorities as potentially toxic.  Awarding consents for basement developments is not a vote winner, so not surprisingly some London Borough Councils, in an attempt to deter basement development, seemingly do everything they can to make the planning process as restrictive and problematic as possible.

Success is the result of hard work, learning from failure and persistence”

— Colin Powell

When you’re embarking on a basement development you need to know you have a team of professionals working for you, who know everything there is to know about planning application process. At Dick Whittington Design and Build we’re known for our expertise. For instance, in the addition to the limitations imposed through the Local Plan Policy CL7, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) adopted the Basements Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which in effect imposes further on the limitations of basement development.  This amounts to many hundreds of guidelines, requirements and specifications, which a scheme is required to satisfy before any consent can be forthcoming.

To offer an insight, a standard basement application requires over a dozen different documents in support an application, including but not limited to:

  • Planning PreAdvice Report  –  A report provided by the Local Authority Planning Officer (undertaken for a fee), which provides the council’s perspective on the potential of the site for basement development.
  • Architectural Designs  –  Plans, elevations & sections providing detailed design drawing  information on the proposal.
  • Geotechnical Investigation  –  A site investigation involving the collation of desk study information, appraisal  of bore-hole data, assessment of ground investigation & the provision of an interpretive report.
  • Tree Report  –  A tree survey undertaken by a arboricultural consultant including a BS 537 impact assessment on the effect of the works on local trees.
  • Drainage design  –  Sustainable drainage design to provide environmentally beneficial site drainage solutions. 
  • Planning Statement  –  A statement demonstrating how the proposal accords with the emerging planning policies allied to basement development.
  • Heritage Statement  –  A statement aiming to explain the minimal impact of the proposal upon the historic building or conservation area.
  • Structural Design  –  Plans, sections & calculations detailing the structural integrity of the proposed design.
  • Construction Traffic Management Plan  –  Proposal detailing the contingencies to mitigate the impact of the proposed works, including; site deliveries, waste removal & storage upon resident’s parking and local traffic.
  • Design & Access Statement  –  An outline of the design principles & concepts that have been applied to the proposed development.
  • Flood Risk Assessment  –  Report detailing the potential likelihood & impact upon the site of any future flooding, including the management of the risk.
  • Construction Method Statement  –  An outline of the approach to managing the construction works, including specific comments on; site establishment, logistics, environmental management, noise & dust control.

There is no easy path to securing consent for basement developments.  It’s a matter of knowing planning regulations inside-out and tenaciously extinguishing the hundreds of potential opportunities for a refusal. 

It’s what we do.  And we’re good at it.  Simple.