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Neighbours side extension and party walls

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Chacha5520, 21 Jun 2019.

  1. Chacha5520

    Chacha5520

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    Hi there, sorry this is a long post!
    I’m hoping for some advice. Property developers have bought the semi detached house next to ours and plan to turn around works quickly to get it rented out.

    We are semi detached also but not joined to this neighbour. Previous owners of our house extended over the garage to create an extra bedroom upstairs (done in the 80s). The boundary wall of the garage and bedroom our side runs right to the edge of our boundary. The two houses are offset so ours is further forward towards the pavement. They want to do a similar extension with garage under two story extension. This means their new double story side wall will butt up against half our house wall and half across the rear garden. The developers have started work on the house already and seem to be moving very quickly which is worrying us.

    There are no plans in the planning portal yet. They gave us some paper plans this week and are pushing us to say whether we like it. They have dug a 90cm hole at the side of our garage wall (presumably looking at the foundations), there seems to be what looks like a fresh crack in the brick work under their garage close to our two story wall which looks a bit worrying.

    They say that they will build the side of their extension 1ft in from the boundary to allow for the roof overhang. This will create a foot wide void to the side of our houses. So not enough space to get access to. This doesn’t sound like a good idea. To do this they will also haVe to knock down their existing garage wall which forms part of the boundary in our rear garden and also runs against outlet garage wall. They will also have to move a sewer drain which joins a channel across our drive and flows out to the road.

    Do the developers need a party wall agreement to do this work? We don’t have an issue with them wanting to do a second story extension (our house has one) but I’m not sure their planned 1ft gap is really enough of a gap? We are concerned as to why they don’t seem to have officially contacted anyone. Any advice on what we should look out for? Thanks very much in advance!
     
  2. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    From the description the PW Act will only apply if they plan to dig foundations deeper than yours. If they are clued up, then they won't, so as to avoid the Act.

    It's possible to do certain works without planning permission. But it's hard to visualise the situation from that text. A photo or sketch showing the arrangement at the boundary would help.

    Nothing wrong with a one foot gap, and the rest of the work described are just a technical issues and possible.

    If they are in dialogue with you and asking your views, then that's a good thing. You can always ask them about planning permission and the PW Act, and mention your concerns about working at the boundary, and it's effect on your property, and what are their intentions with the scaffold.
     
  3. Chacha5520

    Chacha5520

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    Thanks for replying. We are happy that the owner has shown us then plans and have opportunity now to discuss it.

    I may have it wrong but I thought the pw act also covered any structure or wall that forms part of the boundary between two properties e.g this section from gov.uk https://www.gov.uk/party-walls-building-works
    You must tell your neighbours if you want to carry out any building work near or on your shared property boundary, or ‘party wall’, in England and Wales.
    Party walls stand on the land of 2 or more owners and either:

    • form part of a building
    • don’t form part of a building, such as a garden wall (not wooden fences)
    Walls on one owner’s land used by other owners (2 or more) to separate their buildings are also party walls.
    Walls on one owner’s land used by other owners
    .
    This image shows the arrangement of the two houses (ours on the right forward of the other). Ours is half the depth of the house forward toward the road.

    This image shows the rear view from our first floor window and shows the existing garage to the left which forms the boundary wall of our garden and will be taken down and replaced with a two story extension 1ft in from the boundary.

    I hope these help. Who can help us answer whether part wall act is relevant?
    Thanks v much
     
  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    For the PWA to apply, the wall must be either astride the boundary, owned by both neighbours or used by both neighbours to dived rooms/garages.
    A garage wall on one side of a boundary like in the photo, with just a garden on one side is not a PW.

    I can't see a shared wall in the photos
     
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