Working for Camden Council to unlock basement developments

3 April 2017

CampellReith was appointed in 2015 as Camden’s independent Basement Impact Assessment auditor following an OJEU competition. Nearly two years later, London’s booming housing market has resulted in over 250 audits being completed to date.

The team is acutely aware that people’s homes are sacrosanct, and proposals for basements can result in real anxieties. At the start of the commission, CampbellReith undertook extensive collaboration with the Borough and local residents’ groups to agree the audit process. We ensure a balance between the legitimate rights of the applicant and the justifiable fears of neighbours. Our reports are written to be accessible to lay people and we have held training sessions for planning officers and members of the planning committee to explain the primary concerns associated with basement construction.

CampbellReith’s breadth of experience has been key to the delivery of this framework. The need to consider geological and groundwater models, flooding risks, drainage, structural design, construction methodologies, and land and structural stability has encouraged close working between our geotechnical, civil and structural engineers to the benefit of all staff. It is the willingness of our staff to go the extra mile, together with their technical expertise, that has allowed the larger than anticipated workload to be accommodated.

We were delighted to have the following commendation from Gavin Sexton, Principal Planner at Camden: “We are impressed by CampbellReith’s efficient and effective management of this significant portfolio of work, the scope of which has far exceeded our original estimations. Their early engagement with residents and training for members established a strong start to their role, and they have followed through with the technical expertise that we expect. Crucially they have matched that with the quality of how they communicate their conclusions in a non-technical way to a wide-ranging public audience at evening committee meetings.”