As basements can provide extra space without additional land take, the Government supports their provision, in appropriate circumstances, as part of new housing or as alterations to existing properties. Whether planning permission is required depends on the circumstances of each particular case. For example, excavation below an existing property to create a basement would require planning permission whereas adapting an existing cellar would not require planning permission if all the works were internal.
The question of the need for planning permission for their provision in residential properties was one of a number of issues looked at by a group reviewing the subject of householder development consents more widely. The report of that group was published on 4 July 2006 and it recognised that there was concern that the absence of guidance on the planning status of basements discouraged their wider use. We will be undertaking further work on householder permitted development in light of that report with a view to consulting on detailed proposals later this year.