New powers preventing the building of mega basement developments in Westminster have come into force this month (August).
From now on, all residential basement developments in the borough will be subject to the council’s new planning controls which, amongst other constraints, will limit developments to a single storey.
It also means new basements will also not be allowed to be built underneath more than 50% of total garden land.
The ruling comes after the council revealed it had received around 150 applications for basement developments in each of the last five years.
The noise, dust and impact on traffic caused by construction vehicles removing soil has had a significant impact on neighbourhoods and has led to the council putting in place stricter policies to limit the impact of basement developments on residents.
Queen guitarist Brian May, who lives in Kensington and Chelsea, said the scourge of basement developments has forced him to leave the borough .
Cllr Robert Davis MBE , head of built environment, at Westminster, said: “Any development in Westminster must be sensitive to the heritage of our city and take into account the impact on local residents.
“Local people should not have to live with continual disruption as a result of extensive basement developments.
“These tough new rules on residential basements will go some way to addressing their impact on our residents and ensure that those developments that do take place are carried out in a considerate manner.”
Last year neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea Council introduced legislation as part of a similar crackdown.
The local authority has also been involved in a long-running dispute with a resident who painted her multi-million pound property with red and white stripes .