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When you are altering, extending, or demolishing a basement you must comply with a wide range of laws. These may require you to seek different types of permission, including:

  • Planning permission, except in circumstances where it may be permitted development.

  • Listed building consent (if the building is listed).

  • Structural impact assessment or report (if the building is listed or of merit to the townscape).

  • Building regulations approval

  • Highway licences. Many of these must be applied for before starting work and include skip, scaffolding, hoarding, building material license, parking suspensions and trader parking permits.

  • Temporary traffic orders (closing pavement, road space or bus stops).

  • Party wall agreement if work is within 3 or 6 metres of adjoining land.

  • Notifying the council and neighbors if the work will involve environmental health risks including noise, vibration, dust, contaminating land or changes to habitable accommodation standards.

  • Freeholder consent – This is always required including before submitting a planning application. Utilities permission – This includes water companies i.e. Thames Water or transport companies like Network rail.

In addition to these circumstantial requirements, all basement developers must prepare and submit a statement of how the construction will be managed as well as sign up to a Considerate Construction Scheme.

What Are the Potential Issues?

Proposing basement works can throw up unexpected issues. Here are just a few of the common design problems that you should be aware of while planning your basement project:

  • Inappropriately large extensions – This is as true below ground as it above ground!

  • Trees and roots – Be aware of trees on or near your site and the space their roots need to be protected, as encroaching this space may categories your basement as overdevelopment.

  • Gardens – Proposed basement should not take up more than half of a front and/or back garden as they may impact biodiversity.

  • Rain and drainage – Any development should provide enough planted material to absorb rainwater adequately.

  • Basements as accommodation – Basements used as hosing must be of high quality and provide a good standard of sunlight, outlook and privacy.

If you would like to find out more or discuss your project with one of the Arkhi team, get in touch on 01260 540170 or drop us an email at

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