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Planning Permission

Most new buildings or major changes to existing buildings or to the local environment need consent – known as planning permission. Without a planning system everyone could construct buildings or use land in any way they wanted, no matter what affect this would have on other people who live and work in their area.

Your local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether a development should go ahead.

The planning regime covering the creation of living space in basements is evolving and under review.

Converting an existing residential cellar or basement into a living space is in most cases unlikely to require planning permission as long as it is not a separate unit or unless the usage is significantly changed or a lightwell is added, which alters the external appearance of the property.

Where a basement will adhere to the existing layout and not extend beyond the original footprint, then planning permission may not be required.

Excavating to create a new basement involving major works, a new separate unit of accommodation and/or altering the external appearance of the house, such as the addition of a lightwell, or indeed excavating and underpinning an existing void, will require planning permission.

Where the building is listed and/or in a conservation area then consent is likely for internal or external work.

In all circumstances we would advise that your Local Planning Department is consulted as works should not commence until all appropriate consent/approvals are received.