IMPORTANT: DCLG has updated its “Permitted Development for Householders – Technical Guidance” document (October 2013) to remove the reference to basements …

[NOTE: For other updates to the "Technical Guidance" document, please view the following posts:
- This post for the January 2013 updates.
- This post and this post for the October 2013 updates.
- This post for the April 2014 updates.
- This post for the April 2016 updates.
- This post for the April 2017 updates.]

Introduction:

Since the “Permitted Development for Householders – Technical Guidance” document was updated in October 2013, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has made further updates to this document on (at least) two separate occasions, but without changing the date of this document. This means that there are now three separate versions of the “Technical Guidance” document dated "October 2013". As such, the current and previous versions of the "Technical Guidance" document are now as follows:

  • October 2013: Permitted Development for Householders - Technical Guidance (as amended on 17/12/2013) (pdf).
  • October 2013: Permitted Development for Householders - Technical Guidance (as amended on 20/11/2013) (pdf).
  • October 2013: Permitted Development for Householders - Technical Guidance (as amended on 29/10/2013) (pdf).
  • January 2013: Permitted Development for Householders - Technical Guidance (pdf).
  • August 2010: Permitted Development for Householders - Technical Guidance (pdf).

The main differences between these three separate versions dated "October 2013" are as follows:

Basements (page 7):

As detailed in this previous post, when the "Technical Guidance" document was updated in October 2013, one of the significant amendments was that the phrase "and the creation of basements" was added as an example of the types of works that are covered by Part 1 Class A. This appeared to be the first time since the legislation came into force 5 years earlier (on 01/10/2008) that DCLG had published a clear statement that the excavation of a basement does fall within the scope of Part 1 of the GPDO.

However, on 17/12/2013 the above phrase "and the creation of basements" was subsequently removed from page 7 of the "Technical Guidance" document. This means that the "Technical Guidance" document no longer includes any statement as to whether or not the excavation of a basement is permitted development. DCLG has confirmed (in response to an email from the Planning Jungle website) that the initial inclusion of the above phrase was an error, and that the subsequent removal of the above phrase was a correction.

It's difficult to understand why DCLG appears to have deliberately decided not to provide any advice in their "Technical Guidance" document as to whether or not the excavation of a basement is permitted development. This leaves LPAs and Inspectors in a difficult position, because (unlike DCLG) they're unable to avoid having to make a decision about this issue.

As a result of the above amendment, the following conclusion within the "Basements" topic of the Part 1 of the GPDO - GENERAL Appeal Decisions document on this website has been updated to show that the "Technical Guidance" document no longer supports this conclusion:

  • The excavation of a basement does fall within the scope of Class A.
    [Source: Permitted development for householders - Technical guidance].
    [Note: This advice was initially added to the October 2013 version of the above document, but was subsequently removed from this version on 17/12/2013].

Other (insignificant) amendments:

  • In the "20/11/2013" version, two additional (mostly blank) pages have been added to the start of the document. This means that the page numbering within the initial "29/10/2013" version is different from the page numbering within the subsequent "20/11/2013" and "17/12/2013" versions - for example page "20" within the former version corresponds to page "22" within the latter versions, etc.
  • In the "17/12/2013" version, as well as removing the reference to basements, several insignificant amendments have been made. For example, a comma has been added on page 17, an "I" has been replaced with "if" on page 41, an "If" has been replaced with "if" on page 48, and the diagrams on pages 18/24/25 have been realigned.

Additional notes:

  • To confirm that you're viewing the current version of the "Technical Guidance" document (i.e. the "October 2013" version, as amended on 17/12/2013), you need to 1) check that the front page states "October 2013", 2) check that page 7 is titled "The structure of the rules on permitted development", and 3) check that the second paragraph of page 7 doesn't include the phrase "and the creation of basements".
  • All links on the Planning Jungle website to the "Technical Guidance" document have been updated to ensure that they link to the current version of the document (i.e. the "October 2013" version, as amended on 17/12/2013).