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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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we are in the process of applying to the Kensington and chelsea

Customer Question

we are in the process of applying to the Kensington and chelsea council for an extension of a basement dig. All rules and regulations will be followed as laid down by this council however we expect this to be refused simply due to the fact the council has a "no dig" policy on listed properties. The house is of arts and crafts period and is one of many in chelsea. The house was listed after the death of a known writer. The house has been altered throughout internally and externally and to the rear by way of an extension to the kitchen plus windows. The front small garden has been altered also. The house already has an original part basement and the garden has no trees and is already fully paved. Do we have the right to build if all regulations are indeed followed? please bear in mind the westminster councils policies allow digs to listed if rules are followed as do many other councils. In addition to this a house on the same road, same build arts and crafts has indeed been given authorisation (not listed due to no one of importance having lived there). It is of our opinion we should have the right and should not be penalised due to a "Blue Plaque" of which is the only reason. Our family size is growing and the additional rooms would be sympathetic to the existing house for example; playroom, study, utility and nanny area. If we can not extend this house will fail to accommodate our growing families needs. your advice would be appreciated
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Josh-2010 :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Josh-2010 :

For the avoidance of any doubt may I confirm with you that you are proposing to extend your basement rather than just convert existing basement? I am virtually certain this is the case but for the avoidance of any doubt at all..?

JACUSTOMER-p9a1qcdo- :

yes this is correct

Josh-2010 :

Thanks. Unfortunately you will as you are certain to already know require listed building consent for the work in addition to planning permission and if this is refused you cannot proceed. If you do proceed, altering a listed building without consent can 1) amount to a criminal offence and 2) you can be required to restore the property to its pre altered state. There is no limit to enforcement action under listed building consent and you will likely have difficulty if not before (if discovered) on selling your property. However...

Josh-2010 :

If you believe the councils policy is unlawful or incorrect you can consider an appeal to the planning inspectorate. They can overturn the councils decision

Josh-2010 :

Every council is required to create a local plan which it is required to follow. There are differences between local plans from council to council which are permissible providing it follows overall government framework which is loose.

Josh-2010 :

If you know that the councils local plan prohibits this kind of work you would need to consdier specialist advice from a local planning consultant before submitting your appeal to guarantee the best chance of success. If the local plan is lawful then an appeal cannot succeed and instead it would be a case of lobbying for a change of the local plan in this respect which if obviously a time consuming undertaking.

JACUSTOMER-p9a1qcdo- :

so as far as you are concerned this would not be a breech of my human rights? i own the house, i will have agreed to all of the regulations laid down by the local authority and simply due to their own desire to limit the number of headaches within the borough it would in your opinion deem lawful to refuse?

Josh-2010 :

Refusal to grant consent has not been held to breach human rights I regret though you would not be the first to suggest that it does. Planning legislation is approved by Parliament and local authorities are required to operate within the national framework which you can view here though as you will see if you look at it contains broad principles rather than specific policy:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6077/2116950.pdf

Josh-2010 :

It can be overwhelmingly frustrating navigating ones way through the planning process particularly when a council is not supportive.

Josh-2010 :

Where this is the case typically your best chance of success is retaining the services of a local planner who knows the councils polices intimately and depending on his advice consider altering your plans and or appealing a councils decision to the Inspectorate to take the decision away from the council

Josh-2010 :

If you are proposing something that is lawfully prohibited by the local plan however it is difficult to see how such an application could succeed. Listed building status adds yet another hoop to jump though.

Josh-2010 :

Advice from a local planner would be your most valuable port of call who can give you specialist local advice on whether or not your application is one that could be fought for or whether such an approach simply cannot succeed with the current local plan.

Josh-2010 :

An alternative could be to carry out the work illegally in the hope that you will not be discovered and either that you will put back the works before you sell or that local policy will change and you can apply for retrospective consent but this would be very dangerous in view of the above consequences of breaching listed building consent.

Josh-2010 :

I could not recommend this approach

Josh-2010 :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Josh-2010 :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?

Josh-2010 :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

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