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Basement Developments

Confirmation of Article 4 Direction: Basements

Further to its decision to make an Article 4 Direction in respect of Basements in July 2015, Westminster City Council has confirmed a borough-wide, non-immediate Article 4 Direction to remove permitted development rights granted by Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 for the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwellinghouse, by way of basement development, lightwells, or any other development below the dwellinghouse or its curtilage. This will come into effect on 31 July 2016.

What is an Article 4 Direction? Some forms of development are called ‘permitted development’. This means that certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application. At present some limited types of basement extension are permitted development.

An Article 4 Direction is a direction under Article 4 of the General Permitted Development Order which enables the local planning authority to withdraw specified permitted development rights across a defined area. This would bring these types of development within the control of the planning process. The directions would come into force, subject to representations received, in July 2016.

Does an Article 4 Direction mean that development is not allowed? An Article 4 Direction only means that a particular development cannot be carried out under permitted development and therefore needs a planning application. This gives the local planning authority the opportunity to consider a proposal in more detail. It does not necessarily mean that permission will be refused. The effect of this Article 4 Direction is that if you are the owner/occupier of a house within the City of Westminster you will not be able to undertake a basement development (see the actual Direction for the exact wording of the development being brought under planning control) using permitted development rights. You will have to apply for planning permission for such development from the date the Direction comes into force.

A copy of the Direction and of the Plan defining the area to which it relates may be seen at the offices of the Council at Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP during normal office hours or can be viewed on the Council's website at

For further information please email or telephone 020 7641 2503.

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