The Most Comprehensive Guide to Planning Permission and Party Wall for Basement Conversion in London
1. When you are required to apply for planning permission
Basement conversion project requires planning permission if you want to:
- Make a dig up and excavation
- make a alterations to your building, eg building an extension
- make changes to use of building
To find out more about your basement conversion project need planning permission.
Simply contact APT Renovation team.
Please note: If your basement conversion project requires planning permission and you do comply with rules, you can get penalty ‘enforcement notice’ which will enforce to undo all the changes you have made to your basement conversion.
What is planning permission?
If you are constructing a new basement conversion and making extensive changes to existing buildings you will be required the permission for your local planning authority to get a planning permission.
This planning system is designed to control inappropriate development.
In this case APT Renovation can do it for you.
When do I need planning permission?
If you planning to excavate and create more space in property or alteration of existing building you will need to apply for planning permission.
Basement conversion requires planning permission depending on the size meter square of the project and the level of Permitted Development rights afforded to or still remaining on a property.
What are Permitted Development Rights?
Permitted Development was first introduced at the beginning of our planning system – in the Town and Planning Act on 1st July 1948.
Which allows make minor changes in building planning, such as converting a loft or extension so in this case you need to go for full planning permission.
What’s the difference between Outline and Full planning permission?
Outline planning permission is not advisable for basement conversion project.
APT Renovation advice you to go full planning permission.
How much will an application cost?
The fee for submitting a planning application varies depending on the nature of the development.
As well as fees for pre-application advice please contact APT Renovation, as we receive your required information in details we can give the exact price.
What is the basic form of a planning application?
Each basement conversion has different layout and shape which required to include five copies of planning permission application forms, the signed ownership certificate, a site plan, block plan and elevations of both the existing and proposed sites, a Design and Access Statement and the correct fee.
What is Design and Access statement, how do I get one, and how much will it cost?
The statement for basement conversion has to include all planning applications except householder building works which is located at unprotected areas and changes of use.
Statements they show justification of proposal’s basement design concept and the access.
The level of detail depends on the scale of the project and its sensitivity.
Most authorities will have guidance notes available to help you but, unfortunately, this is something which everybody knows how to submit, if you are planning to submit simply contact APT Renovation.
What are planning Conditions?
Planning permission directly links with planning conditions which you will need discharging/agreement for your project.
Planning conditions are extremely important and failure to comply with local authorities can result in breach of condition notice, to which there is no right of appeal — not to mention it could be enforced through the courts by prosecution.
Conditions can be as simple as requirement of your project materials to match existing ones, or that all boundary treatments must be agreed.
How are applications decided?
After our submission of your project application, local authority will make a decision on material considerations, which includes (but are not limited to):
- Highway safety
- Loss of light or overshadowing
- Overlooking/loss of privacy
- Government policy
- Impact on listed building and Conservation Area
- Layout and density of building
- Design, appearance and materials
- Disabled access
- Nature conservation
- Proposals in the development plan
- Previous planning decisions
While neighbours and parish councils (in England and Wales) are consulted and invited to comment on your design project, only objections based on material, loss of privacy, proposals in development plan considerations are taken into account.
If your neighbours happy with your design project and doesnt have any objections and the officers recommend approval, you will be granted planning permission for your basement conversion project.
If your basement conversion project has objections or the application elevated into a committee by one of your local councillors, then the decision will be made by a majority vote by the local planning committee.
During the planning meeting, you or your agent (APT Renovation) will be given an opportunity to address the planning committee.
Do I Need a Planning Consultant?
APT Renovation highly recommend you to consult with us prior to buying any plot, to work out the potential of basement conversion project.
By consulting with us you can end up saving thousands of pounds on buying a property that turns out not to be allowed to make basement conversion.
Our planning consultant team has extensive experience and full knowledge of the latest planning policies that basement conversion project requires, and also to prepare planning to create basement conversion in restricted areas such as a Conservation Area or AONB.
How long does is take to get planning permission?
Once your planning application for your project has been submitted by APT Renovation, the planning department will check all planning information it requires has been received together with the correct design.
Local authorities can issue planning permission within 8 to 10 weeks of submission.
In some cases signage proposed basement conversion planning will be posted outside you property related to development of your project and any neighbours likely to be affected to be invited to view the plans and to comment.
This is known as the public consultation process and it takes three to eight weeks.
The authority will intitiate statutory consultations with your local Highways department, as well as Environment Agency.
What if my planning application is refused?
Our experience shows that 85 per cent of applications are granted. If your planning application has been refused, we will take a close look and make amendments to resubmit you application with compliance of local authorities requirements, or you we can make an appeal on your behalf to the planning inspectorate — around 90 per cent of householder applications are later granted at appeal.
How long do I have to wait start the project?
Planning permission is normally granted for three years — which means you
Should start your project within this timeframe.
Can I amend my plans once Full permission has been granted?
You entitled to make minor alterations by applying for a non-material amendment.
What happens if I carry out works without planning permission?
It is illegal to convert or alter your basement without planning permission, If you have failed to get permission for your basement conversion project, then the local planning authority hold the rights to take action to have project demolished.
In this case, you can apply for retrospective planning application and if you will be refused you can appeal the decision.
There is a very slim chance: if you local authority did not take enforcement action within four years of basement conversion project completion, the development becomes lawful for change of use and immune from enforcement action (for 10 years). However this is too great a risk to take.
Altering a listed building without any permission is criminal offence, and in extreme cases it can lead to prosecution and unlimited fine charges — and even imprisonment. Please ensure to apply for this first before you start the work
When you don’t need planning permission
Some of the building projects will not require planning permission. This is known as ‘permitted development rights’.
Building projects that normally have permitted development rights include:
- industrial premises and warehouses – though there are somelimits and conditions
- some outdoor signs and advertisements – though there arespecial rules around these
- demolition – but before you begin you must get approval to demolish fromyour local planning authority
There are other projects that might not need planning permission, eg projects that will have no impact on your neighbours or the environment. If you think this could apply to your project, check with your Local Planning Authority.
If your building project benefits the local community, and the community supports it, you may not have to go through the normal planning permission process. Neighbourhood planning and Community Right to Build lets your community grant planning permission directly under certain circumstances.
When you required building regulations approval
In general, Building Regulations apply to the construction of new buildings and to extensions and material alterations to buildings. In addition, certain parts of the Regulations apply to existing buildings where a material change of use takes place. Otherwise, Building Regulations do not apply to buildings constructed prior to 1 June, 1992.
You need to ensure if you need planning approval before you start you basement conversion project.
You might need building regulations approval and planning permission for basement conversion.
Work covered by building regulations
Our team here at APT Renovation cover the construction and conversion of basements to meet Building Regulations 2010.
You will need building regulations approval if you are planning to make alteration, which includes:
- any structural work in basement conversion
- replacing the main fuse boxes and connected electrics
- installation of a fixed air-conditioning system
- replacing the new windows and moving door fixtures
- installation of boiler
Speak to our team if you are not sure, whether if you need approval.
Penalties and problems may arise if not careful measures taken
You need to make sure the work carried out on you project is fully comply with building regulations.
Without full approval of your alterations you won’t be able to sell your home.
Party walls and building work
Your neighbours should be notified if you are planning any type of building work near or on your shared property boundary, or ‘party wall’, in England and Wales.
Party walls usually between yourself any your neighbour and sometimes it can be more than 2 owners:
- Party wall can be form part of a building
- Party wall don’t form part of a building, such as a garden wall (not wooden fences)
Walls on one owner’s land used by other owners (2 or more) to separate their buildings are also party walls.
You can also have a ‘party structure’. This could be a floor or other structure that separates buildings or parts of buildings with different owners, eg flats.
If you are planning to start basement conversion project, you should comply with Party Walls Act before you get started the work. You need to notify your neighbours of your plans and get their permission for your basement conversion. If you are planning to excavate the basement in terraced or semi-detached property then you will need to notify to your nearest adjoining owner to start the project of any excavation works to walls shared with them. APT Renovation team advices to serve correct notice in order for it to be valid. You may need to serve more than one notice.
Basement excavation works directly on a party wall
Basement conversion carried out on terraced or semi-detached property directly will affect a party wall on your neighbour both sides, which will require to serve a “Party wall structure notice”. During basement conversion you should highlight some examples of the work that you might need to describe in your notice may include:
- extending a party wall downwards;
- strengthening the foundation through underpinning the whole thickness of the party wall; and/or
- cutting away projections such as original bricks.
Basement conversion works always require the use of special foundations. This type of foundations includes underpinning of beams and rods is for the purpose of distributing any load. If special foundations are planned to be placed, it is important to state it in the party walls notice, as it is unlawful to place special foundations under the adjoining owner’s land without their written consent.
When should you serve your party wall notice if you are planning to work directly on a party wall?
It is important to serve your party wall notice to your neighbours and adjoining owner as quickly as possible. You may only start the planned basement conversion work two months after your party wall structure notice is served to your neighbour.
Basement excavation work (three or six metres)
If you are planning to fit a basement excavation work in a detached property, at it is nearest three or six metres of the nearest neighbouring structure then you will be required to serve an “Excavation works notice” to your neighbour. The notice should include a description of your plans and any information regarding the following if they are a part of your plans:
- digging out a basement; and/or
- excavating below a party wall which is to be underpinned.
When should you serve your party wall notice if you plan to carry out excavation works?
You should serve your party wall notice at least one month in advance you start any excavation work. If you planning to start basement excavation earlier, you will need to make notice and obtain the adjoining owner’s consent in written form.
What to do if your neighbour ignores your notice?
APT Renovation advices you to discuss any plans you might have with basement conversion with your neighbour to fit a basement as early on in the process as possible. This will help to solve any concerns or questions your neighbour may have, in order to find out and to avoid neighbours withhold consent.
As per Wall Act notices, the adjoining owner holds full right to consent to any excavation or basement works, your neighbour may refuse consent, or not respond to it at all. If your neighbour is refusing consent, or not responding to your notice, it will clearly mean that your basement works may go into dispute, and the procedures for resolving disputes under the Act come into action.