Camden basement policy under scrutiny after court rulings

Cllr Phil Jones

Cllr Phil Jones - Credit: Archant

Camden Council may have to revise its planning policy on basements following a series of court rulings.

A memo circulated to all councillors said the Town Hall’s approach to “permitted development” (PD) may have to change because it could cost too much money in the courts to keep refusing basement applications.

A recent High Court ruling found that single-storey basements can be built without permission as they are PD under the government’s new rules for fast-track development.

Cllr Phil Jones, head of planning for Camden, is now seeking to clarify planning policy in the borough by examining the option of an Article 4 direction to control the impact of basement development.

Cllr Jones said in his memo: “I will be writing to the government to set out my deep concerns on behalf of Camden residents about the potential risks of basement excavation not being controlled through the planning application process. It is clear that the law is inadequate and must be changed.

“In the meantime, given the clear facts and financial risks, our approach to determining applications under PD rights must regrettably change.”