Rules and regulations around planning permission for any home improvement can seem like a minefield at times, and those around basement conversions may seem particularly so. We’ve put together this page to clear up some of the planning permission rules surrounding London basement conversions and simplify the process for you.
Please look at this page as a guide only. Your specific requirements will dictate whether or not you need planning permission. The best way to find out the requirements for your own basement conversion plans is to check with your Local Authority. If you wish to use our Simply Basement architect, then they will also be able to advise you on London local authority planning guidelines and restrictions and draw up plans to suit them.
If you have an existing basement or cellar, and you only wish to alter it internally, you may not require planning permission. This is as long as it’s not used as a separate dwelling and is not visibly altered from the outside of the property.
If you wish to add an entirely new basement to your London property (regardless of whether or not it is to be used as a separate dwelling) and you intend on adding light wells, then planning permission most likely will be required.
Planning regulations vary from borough to borough in London. Some London boroughs, for instance, will not allow you to go down further than one storey. This is the case, for example, in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
If your property is in a conservation area, it will certainly require planning permission. If the building is listed, it is most likely in our experience that planning permission for a basement conversion will be refused.
You should also remember that even if planning permission is not necessary or if it is approved for your basement conversion in London, it is compulsory to have party wall agreements in place with any adjoining neighbours before any construction work begins.
How long will it take to get basement conversion planning permission in London?
The time that it takes for a decision to be made on planning applications does vary, but generally most will receive a decision within 8 weeks, with more complex or larger applications sometimes taking up to 13 weeks. Your local authority should be able to provide you with a rough timetable in which you can expect a decision.
The best advice when you’re considering these types of works is to contact your local planning authority for guidance or contact the expert team at Simply Basement for help and advice. Call us on 0800 917 7571 or complete our online enquiry form.