• Michael Bukowski

5 Things to consider as you seek Planning Permission for Basements

Updated: Jan 23

As the numbers of homeowners that are opting to convert their basements into more living space continue to rise, many ask questions if a planning permission is needed in such cases. Basement conversions provide homeowners with the opportunity to achieve more space that can be utilized as guest space, storage or utility rooms. No always a planning permission for conversion basement conversion is required and to save time and abortive work you should consider working with a professional architect.

Working with a professional architect will help you with navigating the process of obtaining relevant permissions (whether it is a permitted development certificate or a householder planning permission) and what you can opt to do in case the application fails. Here are some of the things to be aware of;

Not all of the projects require planning permission

Before you apply for planning permission, it’s important to note that not all of the building work requires planning permission. There are projects that can be undertaken without seeking for planning application and that in most cases would be when the proposal does not encroach a footprint of an existing house. If the proposed conversion is beyond the outline of the building or if a construction of a basement lightwell is required obtaining a planning permission might be obligatory and working it out with an architect is very important. Apart from contacting the planning authority for planning permission for basements; you should engage an expert architect for more insight on what’s ideal for your project, to devise an optimal habitable space catering for your everyday needs.

Basement conversion is not your easy DIY project

Determining if a planning permission is needed may prove to be tricky but basement conversions especially those involving extensions may require a professional.

All of the basement works requiring structural changes will also Building Control application and approval.

There are many factors that have to be taken into consideration like fire escape design, waterproofing or designing the drainage below your external manhole level if a bathroom is created. In many cases also a party wall agreement is needed and your local architect would be best single point of contact to advise on all the above issues that may arise.

Decision process may take time

Before you decide to do any works to basement conversion or extension

note that the decision making process may take time. Especially during coronavirus the councils are short-staffed and lead time for delivery of building materials has also extended substantially

By engaging a professional architect at the design stage as soon as possible, you will be able to gain insight on how to correctly handle every process and that makes it all to turn out well without loosing time, money and avoiding unnecessary stress.

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