Basements: One Storey Or More?


Residential owners may be familiar with their neighbours developing their properties and may even have come across the Party Wall Act which governs development close to or involving neighbouring properties. In the main this has concerned extensions to current properties on the surface; however, there is an increasing trend towards development below ground.

For some property owners this may not pose significant problems save for nuisance whilst works are carried out or the need for a party wall award. However, there are circumstances in which there can be significant disruption particularly as structural engineering is permitting more and more ambitious schemes.

The most common development may only consist of one storey below ground so as to increase the size of the property by an additional room. However, in the more substantial properties you could be looking at development that will increase the property’s size by perhaps one or more storey’s but there have been reports of properties being extended by as many as six storey’s below ground.

Developments of any size can present issues and not only those of a structural nature, the more ambitious the development, the more significant the potential problems which can cause structural damage to neighbouring buildings, health & safety concerning the excavations or nuisance cause by the works. In the main developments will be undertaken to a high standard utilising project managers who will be working to appropriate standards but this does not prevent issues arising.

If you have a development next door to you and you would like any assistance with issues raised in this article, then please do not hesitate to contact the Lauren Brown at Bishop and 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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