Basement Review Draft policy and other measures for public consultation

Appendix D: Summary of results of the residents' survey

D1.  The survey took place in September 2012. The full results are available on the Council’s website. Questionnaires were sent to:

  • Owners of properties where a basement has been granted planning permission in the last four years;
  • The neighbours of those properties; and
  • To residents’ associations.

D2.  There were too few responses to the Owners’ Survey to be able to draw any conclusions.

D3.  About 8,000 neighbours questionnaires were sent out. There was a 17% response (1,254 responses). It was a simple ‘tick box’ questionnaire to allow for statistical analysis.

  • About a quarter of respondents held the view that the basement had had a negative impact on the property or its garden
  • About half noticed an impact upon their property
  • Between 50-60% felt that the impacts of noise, traffic, dust and vibration had not been kept within reasonable limits.
  • Around 10-15% experienced a worsening in drainage, flooding, damp or vermin either during or after construction. 
  • About a third of respondents had party wall agreements, with one in 5 reporting that the agreement had not been adhered to.

D4.  There were 127 responses to the Residents’ Association Survey. This was sent to all associations, and also made available on the web. This asked the same questions as the resident’s survey, but provided space for qualitative responses in addition. Headline statistical findings include:

  • About a third of basements were reported to be more than one storey deep
  • Around a quarter reported that the basement had had a negative impact on the property, rising to over a third in relation to the garden
  • Half of the respondents had entered into party wall agreements, with over half being unhappy with the outcome.
  • Between 50-70% reported problems with issues during construction such as noise, dust, traffic and vibration
  • About 10-20% noticed changes in relation to damp, drainage, flooding and vermin, during and after construction.

D5.   The findings broadly corroborate one another. They demonstrate that it is possible for basements to be constructed without causing distress to neighbours, but that at present this is not the experience of most respondents.