The conservation and amenity society for the Ladbroke Conservation Area in the

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea





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Basement development began to be a problem in the Ladbroke area (and indeed in other wealthy parts of the borough) some 15 years ago, when the fashion started for excavating basements under houses for anything from swimming pools to gyms. The excavation needed can easily cause cracks and instability in neighbouring buildings and also risks of flooding. It is vital, therefore, to set in place safeguards that minimise these risks.

Basement development is perhaps the most contentious subject with which the Ladbroke Association has had to deal in recent years, almost entirely because of the appalling noise, dirt and damage that neighbours frequently suffer during the construction of a basement development, often lasting two years or more. We were among the first to campaign to make basement construction more tolerable for those living nearby. As a result of this campaign, the Council has now restricted the extent of permissible basements and also adopted various rules that must be applied to basement excavations.

Party wall agreements are usually essential for any development affecting the party wall (including the foundations) of an adjoining building, and particularly so for basements. The notes below on party wall agreement were drafted chiefly with basement excavation in mind, but most apply equally to other sorts of development.


RBKC policies on basement development

The policies that have been adopted by the Council to control basement development.

The Party Wall Act and party wall awards

Notes on party wall awards and what bneeds to be done if an adjoing neighbour is planning to building basement or other development affecting the next door property (including properties above and below)..

The Ladbroke Association Survey of the impact and effects of subterranean development in Kensington (2009)

Archive material: the survey by the Ladbroke Association that helped spur the Council into action on basement developments.












The Ladbroke Association Survey and Report on subterranean developmentn

In 2009 we conducted a survey and wrote a report for the Council on the problems and the action we thought was needed. Since then, the Council has introduced a new basements policy and a code of construction practice which have greatly improved the situation. Moreover, the appetite for basements has dwindled considerably and there are now very few applications for news basement developments. For anybody interested, howeverr, the links below provide a full text of the Report and a separate summary of the responses:


Text of the Report Summary of the responses to the survey




This page was last updated on 1.6.2020.