Islington opens consultation on 'mega-basement' planning controls

A London borough has opened a consultation on introducing new planning controls on basement excavations following an 'unprecedented' rise in the number of applications.

Islington Town Hall
Islington Town Hall

The London Borough of Islington is proposing controls to protect the borough’s character and environment and reduce the impact on neighbours, after householder applications containing basement developments determined by the council rose from 41 to 62 between 2013 and 2014.

The move follows a similar policy setting guidelines on basement developments in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which was last week found sound by a planning inspector who had conducted a partial review of the borough's core strategy.

The measures proposed in Islington include new limits on the extent of basement developments "to protect the long-term future of the gardens and trees above" and measures to control the "heightened flood risks and structural impacts that subterranean developments may present".

Islington Council's executive member for housing and development, Councillor James Murray, said: "We're seeing a growing trend towards big basement extensions as the value of homes in Islington - particularly large ones – continues to soar.

"We need firmer rules to prevent long-term impacts on the character and structure of homes further down the line."

He said the trend is "unprecedented", with the "size and depth" of proposals having increased as well as the numbers.

The consultation closes 27 January 2015.

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