The new ‘basement tax’ set to hit wealthy London home owners

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 which will see residents paying an average levy of £8,000.00. The fine will be determined by the council and will depend upon the scale of the project and likely disruption it will cause. It will not just be homeowners who will be charged the levy. Major developments which involve basement excavations will also be liable to a £30,000 levy.

'we're 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."

The money will be used to 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. There will also be a point of contact for neighbours to make complaints about those carrying out basement extensions.

The decision comes following a surge in the number of planning applications for vast basements on multi million pound townhouses. Westminster bosses claim the noise, dust and traffic have a significant negative effect on local residents. Councillor Robert Davis, the Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council and the cabinet member for the Built Environment said 'we're 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."

Only Westminster so far have imposed this levy however if it proves to be a success it could see the basement tax spreading throughout the capital. The imposition of the levy sits alongside the recently adopted basement policy which amongst other requirements, limits the depth of basement extensions to one storey and to only 50% of the rear garden area.

For more information please contact Elena Ktori at [email protected].