With increasing numbers of basements being constructed, readers may find a recent legal ruling of interest. In it, a High Court judge has ruled that basement extensions must have planning permission if they require excavation and engineering works. They may no longer be carried out under permitted development rights.
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The full effect of the ruling is yet to be seen, but it seems that it would be prudent for architects and engineers to advise their clients to seek planning permission early in the process. It is likely that permission will be needed for most projects, especially if engineering works are required as well as excavations. This may increase the need for ground assessments and geotechnical designs to be undertaken, for example for retaining walls and foundations.