Potential pitfalls of digging deep: creating basements

By Dagmara Selwyn-Kuczera with assistance from Arya Hussain

Subterranean excavations may be an increasingly popular method of extending a property, but such developments also carry potential pitfalls.

Planning controls do not usually apply to a development that does not affect the external appearance of a property, but means of redress still exist for neighbours who are adversely affected by basement excavation works, whether by the noise, vibrations or dust, while the works are being carried out or by resulting structural damage to their property.

The creation of a new basement is likely to involve works that will fall within the the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (PWA). While this means the building owner has the right to carry out such works, it also means the building owner is burdened by the obligations the PWA imposes…

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