Basement hit squad to police London building work

Grant Prior 8 years ago
Share

Westminster council has launched a squad of “basement nuisance busters” to deal with problems caused by construction work under luxury London homes.

The new team is being funded by a levy on residents looking to extend their homes below ground.

The average charge for a domestic property will be £8,000 with bills of up to £30,000 for commercial residential schemes.

The noise, dust and traffic impacts of basement development have had a major effect on local residents in central London.

The levy is being drawn-up as part of the council’s new Code of Construction Practice which will also be rolled out over the coming months to cover larger developments in the city.

Cllr Robert Davis, Westminster City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Built Environment, said: “We are sticking up for local residents, many of whom have found the explosion of basement development in recent years hellish.

“It is right that those who want to build basements should contribute to this new service, which will work to help mitigate the negative impacts.

“Westminster City Council supports the right kind of growth and is not against all basement development, but they must be carried out in a way that is considerate to local residents and the environment.”

Over the last five years Westminster City Council has received on average 150 applications each year and has seen a trend towards more ‘iceberg’ basements where homeowners dig down two or more storeys.

New rules include planning controls limiting basements to a single storey and no more than 50% of total garden land.

The new basement squad will:

  • take a degree of oversight and control, for example making sites coordinate their deliveries and reduce the cumulative impact on residents
  • check that developers are keeping neighbours informed for instance via newsletters or site meetings
  • enforce stricter working hours so as to avoid noisy works at inconvenient times such as Saturday mornings
  • provide a point of contact for residents with complaints – with the power to enforce against overly noisy sites under statutory powers
  • monitor the level and impacts of traffic to sites
  • also police development sites of over 10 residential units, or over 1000m2 commercial floorspace

The levy on a residential basement scheme will cost around £8,000 on average with the largest developments charged around £30,000.

The new powers will only apply to basements which gained planning permission from August 2016 onward, and other major development schemes from September.

Latest news

McAlpine pulls out of £55m Carlisle Citadels project

University of Cumbria starts hunt for replacement contractor
2 days ago

Strabag UK suffers further big trading loss

Austrian contractor is gearing up for major presence in the UK market
1 day ago

Durham Uni picks UPP for £130m student scheme

Firm will deliver 1,000 self-catered bed spaces
1 day ago

Architects now upbeat after 10-months of work gloom

Larger practices see rising workloads in next three months
1 day ago

Motorist dies after collision with road paver

Police Scotland investigating fatal crash
2 days ago

McLaren Living appoints HG Construction for £69m scheme

Build to Rent scheme will transform former vacant car park site in Leeds city centre
2 days ago

Squibb liquidator probes £2m of “missing” plant

Machinery, cars and scrap metal have disappeared at demolition specialist
2 days ago

Galliford Try to re-enter affordable homes market

Contractor sets out new five-year plan to build margin to 4%
2 days ago

Former Sellar chief to lead civils contractor Kilnbridge

Owen Dannatt joins as new CEO as founder Dermot McDermott becomes Chairman
2 days ago

Hunt starts for nuclear fusion plant construction partner

Fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton coal power station site.
2 days ago

National Grid raises £7bn for big infrastructure upgrade

Rights issue to fund a major round of capital investment in energy infrastructure
2 days ago

Grenfell police probe to last at least until end of 2025

19 companies and 58 individuals could eventually face charges
2 days ago

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
3 days ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
3 days ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
3 days ago

Piling specialist Van Elle plans further job cuts

Piling specialist plans further cost savings in face of lower demand
3 days ago

Civils contractor A Catlow files administration notice

High voltage cable specialist lodges court notice
3 days ago

Green light for ARC Oxford lab campus

Work to start later this year on £40m Ascent building job
3 days ago

Stonehenge tunnel hit by another legal delay

Court upholds latest appeal against £1.7bn scheme by campaigners
4 days ago

Plans go in for huge Olympic Park construction hub

Bow Goods Yard could deliver 3.5m tonnes of materials a year to sites across London
4 days ago

40% affordable homes target for Labour’s new towns

Labour pledges to select new town sites by end of first year
4 days ago

Plan for £100m Liverpool Baltic station

Construction work could begin next year
4 days ago

Surgo Construction went down owing £4.5m

Biggest creditor is Bellway Homes after dispute on housing job
4 days ago

Vistry seals £157m West London housing deal

Around 575 homes to be built at Merrick Place scheme in Ealing
4 days ago

Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Multi-room specialist sees secured work pipeline hit £1.4bn
4 days ago

Bellway hires ex-brickie as group construction chief

James Griffin to oversee move to the Future Homes Standard and timber frame.
4 days ago

Persimmon under fire for delays to £10m relief road

West Suffolk Council serves Breach of Condition Notices after timetable slips again
4 days ago

BAM wins £33m Kent secondary school job

Replacement Swanley academy to be built at live school site
4 days ago

Aluminium cladding specialist collapses

Melton Mowbray-based firm worked for several main contractors
5 days ago

Brickwork contractor Lee Marley returns to profit

Affordable and rental homes demand lifts brickwork contractor
5 days ago

Contractor services