Basement Review Draft policy and other measures for public consultation

4 4- Review of Documentation

4.1 A range of information is currently required in the assessment of a basement application, such as the impacts of construction traffic, demolition and construction.

4.2 When planning permission is granted, conditions are often attached. These allow for further information to be submitted that does not affect the principle of the development.

4.3 Current practice in relation to basements is that much of the information related to the construction process is often sought through conditions. This is because this information was not seen as relating to the principle of the development.

4.4 This approach is beneficial to applicants, because the information required is detailed, and may, for example, need a contractor to be in place for some of the information to be provided. However, it is a significant source of concern for residents, because the information is not available in the public domain before the principle of the development is given permission.

4.5 The outcome of the review is that most of this information will be required ‘up front’: it will have to be submitted as part of the planning application. This has the advantage that it is in the public domain, and can be taken into account in assessing the principle of the development. It will, however, require those wishing to build basements to prepare their schemes to a greater level of detail before they know if the principle of the development is acceptable.

4.6 To help clarify what is required, the Council is drawing all the requirements together, calling them a ‘basement impact assessment’.

4.7 The review has also considered what advice should be provided to applicants if they receive planning permission.

Requirements of the Basement Impact Assessment

4.8 Any planning application that includes a new basement will need to include a Basement Impact Assessment (BIA). A BIA comprises a number of elements, which are set out below. Further details of the nature of the documents required, and the key principles which must be addressed for each report/study are included in Appendix C.  

 

Engineering Design and Construction Statement (EDCS):

4.9 To demonstrate how the applicants intend to construct the basement in order to safeguard the structural stability of the buildings around it and avoid long term harm to the character and quality of their local setting. This must be signed off by a qualified structural engineer, and checked by a second qualified structural engineer.

Demolition and Construction Management Plan (DCMP)

4.10 To set out the methodology the applicant (and in particular a contractor) intends to use to implement the permission. It is concerned with the effective mitigation of the noise, dust and vibration associated with a development. This must be approved by the Bi-Borough Director of Environmental Health prior to being submitted with the planning application.

Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP)

4.11 To demonstrate how the applicant will minimise the impact of the traffic associated with the construction phase of a development. This must be approved by the Bi- Borough Director of Transportation and Highways prior to being submitted with the planning application.

 

BREAAM for refurbishment assessment

4.12 To demonstrate how entire property will meet the appropriate environmental standards in order to effectively mitigate/ off-set the Carbon Dioxide created by the construction and ongoing occupation of the basement.

Flood Risk Assessment

4.13 To demonstrate how flood risk (from all sources of flooding) to both the development itself and to others, will be managed now, and taking climate change into account.

 

Sustainable Urban Drainage report

4.14 To demonstrate that measures have been put into place which manage and reduce surface water run-off.

 

Arboricultural report

4.15 To demonstrate that all trees of value, both in the application property and surrounding it will be protected both through the construction phase of the proposal as well as the completed development

 

Site Waste Management Plan

4.16 For major developments, and where required by theSite Waste Management Plans Regulations, to demonstrate the efficient handling of construction, excavation and demolition waste and materials.

 

Pre-application consultation by applicants

4.17 The Council has a responsibility to consult the public when a planning application is received, a responsibility set by statute. There are no similar requirements for applicants to consult those who may be affected, before the planning application is submitted. The National Planning Policy Framework does, however, strongly encourage pre-application engagement. Applicants are encouraged “to engage in the local economy before submitting their applications”. This early dialogue, if carried out positively, is seen as having the potential to reduce the impact of potentially high impact development on its neighbours.   

4.18 The Council will, therefore, encourage, applicants to carry out effective consultation with adjoining owners and their representatives. This should explain the proposals to these third parties and set out what the implications of the works are likely to be.

4.19 The scale of this consultation should reflect the nature of the proposal. It will be advisable to consult beyond immediate neighbours where the nature of the proposal is such that it may have a wider impact.

4.20 The Council will encourage applicants to discuss the implications of the implementation of the project with those who may be affected, rather than simply the nature and impact of the completed project. This is therefore likely to include the contents of the Demolition and Construction Management Plan and Construction Traffic Management Plan if available. In addition the Council would encourage discussion of the Engineering Design and Construction Statement as appropriate.

4.21 Applicants should confirm this consultation has been carried out (or otherwise) and show evidence as necessary.

Party Wall Agreements    

4.22 It is not the role of the Royal Borough to be involved in the preparation, review or monitoring of any party wall award. The Council does however recognise that the Party Wall Act is the regime in place to control the affects of construction on neighbouring properties and recommends that the party wall process is initiated as close to the beginning of the process as possible

4.23 To this end, the Council will ask applicants, through the BIA, to confirm that the relevant neighbours have been notified of the provisions of the Party Wall process. The Council also strongly encourages applicants to provide a copy of the EDCS to neighbours as part of any party wall discussions.

Advice

Informatives

4.24 Informatives can be placed on a planning permission to inform those who have received the permission of their obligations under other legislation. An informative is not binding.

4.25 Two ‘standard’ informatives are considered appropriate. An informative which reminds applicants of their duties under the Party Wall Act will be added to all relevant permissions. A further informative reminding applicants of their obligations with regard preserving the special character of listed buildings will be used as appropriate.

 

The Council’s website

4.26 The Council’s “advice to builders”, which is available on the Council’s website has pulled together a considerable amount of information with regard to who within the Council does what, what legislation is relevant, and what is expected of applicants/ builders. The Council is committed to review and update this advice following the adoption of the new procedures. This review will include information on the Party Wall Act and a compendium of the relevant regulations which may be relevant for basement development and other high impact development.

4.27 This will form part of a wider review of the department’s website which is considering how best it may provide information and otherwise communicate with our residents and applicants.