OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

It appears Westminster will be introducing a basement tax:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/02/uks-first-basement-tax-f...

I've spoken about this on here before, but there was a basement conversion on Park Avenue South in Crouch End last year. The whole project lasted about a year and was a complete nightmare for those who lived on the area: builders working as early as 7am and as late as 10pm (which the council did nothing to discourage), builders urinating in the street and essentially treating the whole street like a building site, horrible, large cracks appearing on internal walls of neighbouring homes and a few homes in the area even reported internal doors sticking  (my poor neighbour got stuck in her bathroom!). I myself have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket having to hire contractors to fix the cracks in my walls, and that was with a Party Wall Agreement (which I had to instigate as my neighbour was under no legal obligation to get one and was perfectly prepared to start the building works without one). 

Anyway, I spoke to the Head of Planning for Haringey about my experience and  he was completely uninterested. He told me that councils were unable to create any regulations when it came to basement conversions. Well, what is happening in Westminster proves otherwise. I'm hoping that if more people complain to the council about these dangerous and disruptive basement conversions, maybe they'll be more strictly regulated in Haringey in the future. 

Oh, and if any of your neighbours are planning a basement conversion in Crouch End, be very very worried. I spoke to a surveyor who told me that Crouch End in particular is prone to subsidence and these basement conversions can cause major structural damage to homes in the area. 

Still, at least my neighbour got the wine cellar and gym he always wanted. 

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Also in the Standard here http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/rich-london-homeowners-face-p...

However, it appears the levy merely pays for the enforcement of building regs during the builds. It's unclear to me whether Westminster have developed a planning policy which would actually stop basement developments (beyond the dissuasion of the extra cost the levy imposes).

I doubt it will stop basement works - people who are wealthy enough to do a basement conversion could probably handle an £8,000 fee. But at least they're doing something to try to regulate basement works. Our council could not care less. 

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