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FT reports on forthcoming High Court basement challenge

DATE: 02 Nov 2016

Today’s Financial Times contains a report on a forthcoming judicial review which will determine the extent to which, if at all, basement development can be carried out relying on the current regime of permitted development rights. This question is of general interest across the country, but arises particularly frequently in central London given the long-standing and increasing pressure for space.

The claimant, Mr Eatherley, is challenging a decision by Camden Council to grant a certificate of lawful development for a single-storey basement extension relying on the permitted development right to carry out “the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwellinghouse” (Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015).

The court has previously acknowledged that “the interpretation of the GPDO in relation to basements is controversial […] generally within the world of planning” and that “[d]ifferent local authorities have adopted different interpretations at different times”: Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [2015] EWHC 2105 (Admin) at [43]-[45]. This is the first time that the High Court will have to decide whether a residential basement extension, involving significant excavation works, is or can be within the Class A right.

R (Eatherley) v Camden Council (CO/3055/2016) will be heard on 22-23 November 2016.

Gwion Lewis is acting for the claimant.