Basements: Health & Safety


In the current economic climate, London residents are taking steps to expand their homes without the need for the expense and uncertainty of upgrading to larger premises.

It is therefore no surprise that there has been a noticeable increase in the redevelopment and extension of properties in the London area. Most noticeably there has been an increase in subterranean development, i.e. basements being put into properties. This development can cause significant problems with regards to excavation which can create significant structural problems for the properties above but also problems that arise through the manner in which the space is excavated.

Whilst the large scale developments will no doubt be managed by experienced project managers, and therefore more unlikely to have significant health and safety issues, it is the smaller scale developments that are of concern. The Health & Safety Executive has sought to raise awareness about health and safety that should be considered whilst undertaking subterranean development.

The Health & Safety Executive has prioritised health and safety issues concerning subterranean developments. These concerns cover dangerous excavations, working at height, underpinning of buildings and the safety of workers themselves.

Whilst the most familiar piece of legislation concerning residential development is often the Party Wall Act with the increasing number of subterranean developments, health and safety and the mechanics of the development cannot be ignored.

For more information on subterranean development, health and safety or Party Wall Act requirements please contact Lauren Brown at Bishop & Sewell on 0207 631 4141.

We hope you have found this note useful; however it is general in nature and for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice. Therefore Bishop and Sewell LLP accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any loss howsoever arising in connection with any use of the contents of this article. If you require specific advice, then please contact us.


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