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Demolition, Outbuildings & Basements


It is entirely possible to knock down your own house and outbuildings without planning permission, in theory. The trouble is, it doesn’t automatically follow that you’d be granted planning permission to build a suitable replacement, which could prove a trifle embarrassing. So it’s always advisable to include any demolition as part of your overall application. Building Control, on the other hand, must always be notified in advance of any proposed demolition. And unless your house is detached, adjoining houses will have a mutual legal right of support.

Outbuildings and annexes

An alternative way to add space is to build a new structure in the garden. A new home-office, playroom or gym is always an attractive proposition. If it’s more than 5m away from the house, it doesn’t actually count as an extension. But you’ll need to prove that it’s used in association with the house and not independently. In most cases, conservatories will often fall within your permitted development allowance. Outbuildings may include the following:

  • Sheds
  • Greenhouses
  • Garages
  • Swimming pools
  • Ponds
  • Sauna cabins
  • Kennels
  • Enclosures (including tennis courts)

For more specific advice, get in touch with one of our planning consultants to give you the best advice.

Basements and Cellars

Many home owners want to utilise the potential to increase the square footage footprint of the house without it being seen from the outside. Building a basement below the house, is also sometimes the last option for many homeowners who have been refused planning, or were advised by planners not to build upwards. 

This option is not just an expensive development, but can also cause structural problems with adjoining properties during the excavations. Digging giant holes next to old buildings with shallow foundations can cause the opposite of underpinning – undermining. So new basements need to be very carefully and professionally designed from the start, to take into consideration other matter as well, such as cost, natural light, ventilation, head-height requirements etc. 

Developments of this type are not always the right way for increasing value to your house. It is recommended that you speak to a professional surveyor or planning consultant who would be able to advise you on the best course of action. 

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