Digging deep—government consults on basement developments

Digging deep—government consults on basement developments

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Parliamentary concerns, together with unpopular media coverage and community feedback, have led the government to release a consultation on basement developments. Katherine Evans, planning and environment partner at TLT in Bristol, explains what the law currently says about extending down and what evidence the government is looking to accumulate.

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What is the DCLG consulting on?

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has called for evidence on Basement Developments and the Planning System. This is not a consultation where the government makes proposals or asks specific questions about proposals, but a response to concerns that have been expressed in Parliament, the media and in local communities about the impact of basement developments.However, it is part of a process which may lead to a consultation on a set of proposals—once evidence has been gathered. The government is looking for specific examples from interested parties who have been directly or indirectly involved with basement developments with particular emphasis on two key areas:


  • the planning process and use of permitted development rights, and
  • the number of basement developments and the areas in which they take place

What is the background to the consultation?

The background to this call for evidence stems in part from concerns raised during parliamentary consideration of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The government at that time committed to a review of the planning law and regulations which relate to basement developments. But the media has focussed on some h

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