Westminster to impose basement tax as a condition of getting planning permission

Westminster City Council is to impose a “basement tax” on those proposing to develop basements and basement extensions as a condition for receiving planning permission, according to an article in the London Evening Standard.

Residents in Westminster will have to pay an average levy of £8,000 to secure planning permission for excavations under the new rules. The money raised will pay for a dedicated basement enforcement team of 15 officials who will monitor whether construction work complies with restrictions on noise, working hours and number of truck deliveries. 

The move follows a huge surge in the number of planning applications for vast basements, some with facilities such as swimming pools, saunas, gyms and cinema rooms over the past decade. 

Robert Davis, Westminster City Council deputy leader and Cabinet member for the built environment, said: “We are sticking up for local residents, many of whom have found the explosion of basement development in recent years hellish. It is right that those who want to build basements should contribute to this new service, which will work to help mitigate the negative impacts.”

He continued: “Westminster City Council supports the right kind of growth and is not against all basement development, but they must be carried out in a way that is considerate to local residents and the environment.

Residential Planning Barrister - My Barrister