An interesting planning battle in Kensington

Property development is very popular in London as people look to maximise the value of their properties. Most of these projects will successfully add value to an investment, but others encounter difficulties, often due to improper preparation or overlooking important details. One developer found this out recently.

Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring hit the headlines for painting vertical red and white stripes on her multi-million pound town house in Kensington, West London. She took the action after her neighbours objected to her plans to demolish the property to build a new one with a large, two storey basement. The argument over planning escalated and eventually found its way to the High Court where the developer sought to overturn the planning policy.

The High Court judge found that the policy of not being able to build basements over two storeys was fundamentally flawed, but that the local authority had reached a reasonable decision when denying planning permission. The end result is that the decision will not be overturned and the developer will not be able to construct the huge basement she wants.

The policy includes strict guidelines about the scale of basements that people can have on their properties. They are still allowed, but within clearly defined guidelines. The policy was put in place to protect the stability of properties in the area as well as limiting the disruption the construction work would cause to residents and traffic on nearing roads.

The decision provides a lesson for developers; when considering plans it is always best to check the policies for the local area and factor them in. People who don’t take these important issues into account can find themselves unable to gain permission and facing a tough task of fighting the ruling. Trying to overturn a decision can result in huge costs and a lot of delays.

If you want to stand the best chance of getting planning permission you should be very careful with your design. We offer full property and block management in Kingston Upon Thames, Kensington and Chelsea, Islington and all other areas of London, and can provide you with support, advice and guidance in your property ventures to help you avoid potential pitfalls.