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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:30 am 
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Hi All

First time poster with a few questions about the feasibility of digging out a basement if I may.

I have an end Edwardian (1910) terrace in London and wondered if it would be feasible to dig out a basement to put a flat in. There isn’t currently any form of basement. Would it be possible to dig one out?

If so would anyone be able to give me a rough indication of costs? I estimate the space underneath the property and the front and back garden to be about 108sqm.

There is an unregistered alleyway next to the property which has a main sewer pipe running down the middle which I estimate to be about 1 metre from my property boundary would this cause any problems?

So far I have managed to work out that if it is feasible I will need a party wall agreement with my neighbours – would this just be with the ground floor flat or the top flat as well? They are both leaseholders would I also need an agreement with the freeholder of the next door property?

Research suggests that if the project is feasible it could take 6 months – does that sound about right?

I know that its possible that my neighbours wont be overly pleased especially because of the noise it will generate but are there any advantages to them say in terms of strengthening the terrace? Or is that just wishful thinking?

I also have a couple of unused chimney breasts on the external wall that join to form one stack on the roof. If a basement can be dug out would it be better or worse for the overall strength of the terrace to keep or remove them? There are about 12 properties in the terrace.

Any help deciding if their is any mileage in this thought would be appreciated.

Many thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:35 am 
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Its becoming more and more common to do this in London, though the costs are very high not just for the work but access and removal of spoil too. There are building firms that specialise in just this kind of work so I would suggest you contact a few for quotes.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:49 am 
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Ground water? Common in London.

This isn't a project that you can get 'ball park' figures for (ok, try £1m, £2m .....) but would require serious tests and measurements for, not to mention an open-ended budget in case of undiscovered issues.

Consider spending £20k on a professional survey.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:08 am 
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keep in mind the walls will probably terminate a few inches below the surface so a massive expensive job not just digging out but underpinning the whole house :dunno:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:51 pm 
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Thanks for the replies so far, Ive researched a number of companies that do this kind of work and do intend to contact a few for quotes I just thought I'd try and arm myself with as much information as possible from other peoples knowledge and experience first.

I know it's a massive job and any where other than London would probably not make any sense.

I thought I'd investigate it now as there is a chance that the access provided by the alleyway will not be around for much longer as the alleyway is prone to antisocial crime and flytipping and there is a suggestion to block it with property development. I'm very pro this as it solves a social problem but will alter access significantly.

Any more thoughts, ideas, suggestions, experiences even beyond the scope of my question very welcome

Many Thanks
:-P


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:12 am 
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just a thought
you say the alleyway is subject to "abuse" is this a private area or private or public right off way or accsess route ?? if so you cannot legally close it off without complying with comprehensive requirements :dunno:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:27 am 
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Hi Big -all

The status of the alleyway is unregistered, the project to address the issues is quite lengthy and all of the relevant stakeholders are being included.

Essentially its unregistered status is a large part of the issue as it makes it difficult as technically the council don't have to clear it, the responsibility should fall jointly to all properties which access on to it which amounts to about 60 and is difficult to manage.

I wont bore you with the details but in a nutshell the proposal is to transform it into a mews with prefab properties at both ends and prefab properties in the back yards of some of the existing properties and then form a management company to manage it. As part of this there is an initial legal stage to try and unearth an owner, the properties within the management company will agree to a change of right of way and after 12 years where appropriate there will be adverse possession claims. The reason for prefab buildings is removal of all or parts if necessary.

It a big project and has its risks but we get industrial level flytipping at the moment and a lot of other crime and anti social behaviour so hopefully worth the time effort and risk.


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