Council to stop people applying for controversial ‘iceberg’ basements

Iceberg-style basements are bigger than the houses above them. Photograph: Wikicommons

Camden Council is keeping a beady eye on the subterranean construction boom with fresh measures introduced to stop people applying to build “iceberg-type” basements.

At a planning committee meeting last week, council officer Gavin Sexton described iceberg basements as a “key issue”.

He said the council has in the past seen residents asking for permission to build underground vaults that stretch far beyond the walls of the homes above.

Highgate ward councillor Cllr Anna Wright (Labour) asked Sexton for the “biggest difference” between the new and old policies, adding: “This is a controversial issue for all our residents.”

Sexton responded: “Previously there were expectations set out in guidance about how big basements could or should be – now we’ve enshrined that in much more detail in the [planning] policy itself.”

He added: “We shouldn’t be seeing applications for iceberg-type schemes for conventionally-sized houses – I would say that’s probably the key issue.”