‘RBKC stop illegal basement’
Unauthorised basement excavation halted by planners
Planners from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have ordered the owner of 77 Stanhope Mews East, SW7, to stop an unauthorised basement excavation or face prosecution.
The Council received reports from members of the public that the owner was preparing to carry out excavation works inside the property. Planning Enforcement Officers visited the site and warned the owner that legal action would be taken if excavation began without planning permission.
Despite numerous warnings a visit by an enforcement officer, on 20 August, confirmed excavation work had begun. The concrete floor had been broken and two large holes had been excavated which were two metres deep. The spoil that had been dug out was piled up at the side of the holes. As a result the Council’s Planning Enforcement Team issued a Temporary Stop Notice on Tuesday 26 August to halt the unauthorised basement development. If works continue the owner will commit a criminal offence which could lead to a maximum penalty of £20,000 in a magistrates court and unlimited if heard in a crown court.
Cllr Timothy Coleridge, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, said: “The Royal Borough will not tolerate developers who ignore planning law. Hopefully the property owner now ceases these excavation works but, if not, our Planning Enforcement Team will use all available legal powers to protect residents from this unauthorised development.”
Basement developments can have a big impact on the lives of neighbouring residents which is why a number of planning conditions are attached to grants of planning permission to mitigate this. Any unauthorised basement extension is of concern because planners will not have had the opportunity to assess the impact the development will have on the local area.