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    • shadowseed
    • By shadowseed 9th Jul 17, 9:32 PM
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    shadowseed
    Builders damaged pavements - liability
    • #1
    • 9th Jul 17, 9:32 PM
    Builders damaged pavements - liability 9th Jul 17 at 9:32 PM
    Hi,

    Im having a building company do a extension on my property, however, some of their delivery lorries have cracked several paving slabs in front of my property on the public footpath.

    Who is liable for this, the building company, or me ? What, legally can i do about it ?
    Would the council have recourse to come after me for remediation, or can i point them at my builders.

    Thanks in Advance!
    Last edited by shadowseed; 09-07-2017 at 10:05 PM.
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 9th Jul 17, 10:01 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 17, 10:01 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 17, 10:01 PM
    "Their" delivery lorries?

    Delivery lorries usually come from builders merchants, not the actual building company?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • shadowseed
    • By shadowseed 9th Jul 17, 10:04 PM
    • 2 Posts
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    shadowseed
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 17, 10:04 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 17, 10:04 PM
    They have their own lorries, but have also had deliveries from merchants and grabber lorries and a skip lorry.
    Either way, lorries they have commissioned.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 9th Jul 17, 10:19 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 17, 10:19 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 17, 10:19 PM
    You commissioned them, they commissioned the deliveries. I doubt that your actual builders have anything large enough to damage the pavement - it's usually the hydraulic stabilisers of a hiab that cause damage when the weight is concentrated.

    Anyhow, it's the fault of whoever owns the vehicle, nothing to do with you.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 9th Jul 17, 10:36 PM
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    AndyMc.....
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 17, 10:36 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 17, 10:36 PM
    You commissioned them, they commissioned the deliveries. I doubt that your actual builders have anything large enough to damage the pavement - it's usually the hydraulic stabilisers of a hiab that cause damage when the weight is concentrated.

    Anyhow, it's the fault of whoever owns the vehicle, nothing to do with you.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Agreed, technically they've failed to report a road traffic accident.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 10th Jul 17, 1:37 AM
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    EachPenny
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 17, 1:37 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 17, 1:37 AM
    Im having a building company do a extension on my property....
    Originally posted by shadowseed
    Did you need to apply for planning consent for the extension, or was it permitted development?
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Jul 17, 7:30 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 17, 7:30 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 17, 7:30 AM
    I think it's commendable to concern oneself with damage done by builders (or their agents) that have been there to do one's work. Many would be too irresponsible/lazy to do so.

    I take responsibility (ie for making sure they take responsibility) when I have builders around.

    In this case - I doubt there is a properly laid down procedure as to how to ensure the builders (or their agents) deal with their responsibilities. So - in your situation - I'd contact the Council and explain "It was z delivery firm - employed by x builders that did this. I'm a witness to what they did. Here are the contact details for both these firms for you to chase them for the money they owe you". It would be up to the Council to decide which of the two firms to chase for the money they owed.

    I'm guessing the builder (or their agent) would just claim it under the insurance cover these firms are supposed to have in case they damage a customers property - even though, in this case, it was Council property that was damaged (rather than your own personally).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-07-2017 at 7:35 AM.
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

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    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Jul 17, 7:42 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 17, 7:42 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 17, 7:42 AM
    in your situation - I'd contact the Council and explain "It was z delivery firm - employed by x builders that did this. I'm a witness to what they did. Here are the contact details for both these firms for you to chase them for the money they owe you"..
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Bearing in mind that the work seems to be ongoing, this might not be the best strategy!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Jul 17, 8:30 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #9
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:30 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:30 AM
    Bearing in mind that the work seems to be ongoing, this might not be the best strategy!
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Well - in that case - contact the Council after the event. I'm guessing it shouldnt be more than a few days/weeks time...

    Oh yes...and taking photos of the damage (just in case some other wotname that is "unrelated" to this causes further subsequent damage).

    EDIT; Not forgetting that reporting the damage is partly done to cover your own back - as a neighbour might well report it anyway........ahem...
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-07-2017 at 8:32 AM.
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Jul 17, 8:54 AM
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    Davesnave
    .

    EDIT; Not forgetting that reporting the damage is partly done to cover your own back - as a neighbour might well report it anyway........ahem...
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    You can't cover your own back for something where you have no liability.

    The waters have been cleared. You're muddying them again!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 10th Jul 17, 9:16 AM
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    Furts
    I do not think there is a clear cut answer. There is a builders merchant near me which makes all deliveries with T&C which excludes any liability for damage off the highway. One then has to define the highway. In a claim I was involved with the merchant argued the customer requested where the drop should occur and was thus liable.

    Then there are the footpaths - these should be constructed to take reasonable use. Plus vehicle crossovers should be built stronger. Hence any damage could be a result of poor footpath building. It follows that this is a Council problem.

    Then there is OP. What instructions, or exclusions, were issued to all the vehicle drivers? Basically. we should all try to foresee and protect areas in the public domain.

    An easy answer is to act ignorant, and hope nothing ever gets said.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 10th Jul 17, 9:39 AM
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    EachPenny
    The waters have been cleared. You're muddying them again!
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I don't think the waters are quite as clear as they seem. There are actions the highway authority can take to recover the cost of repairs. Hence my question about whether the OP had to apply for planning consent.

    Then there are the footpaths - these should be constructed to take reasonable use. Plus vehicle crossovers should be built stronger. Hence any damage could be a result of poor footpath building. It follows that this is a Council problem.
    Originally posted by Furts
    The footways will be constructed to take the loads imposed by normal use - which as they are the 'part of the highway reserved for pedestrians' would normally be pedestrian loading. Vehicle crossovers will generally be constructed to take loadings from normal cars and light vans.

    Loading from lorry wheels requires a much higher standard of construction. Loading from stabilisers (cranes/hiabs/skip lorries) is then a special case - the surface is not protected by the flexibility of rubber tyres transmitting the load over a relatively large area - the stabiliser is a point load, and without adequate load spreading could even damage the road surface.

    Many councils specify that standard vehicle crossovers cannot be used by lorries, and many councils have conditions on the use of builders skips which try to prevent the skip lorry from crossing the footway or using stabilisers without adequate load-spreading.

    If your lorry causes damage to the footway then it is not the council's fault - even if the footway is poorly constructed.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Jul 17, 9:56 AM
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    Davesnave
    An easy answer is to act ignorant, and hope nothing ever gets said.
    Originally posted by Furts
    In the face of the complex answers being given, I think that's probably the conclusion many might come to!

    An home extension is a complex enough matter for the uninitiated to undertake, without also having to plan for the random actions of those they may not have employed directly.

    By all means pick it up with the council later, but my advice right now is to focus your eagle eyes on the build.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Jul 17, 9:58 AM
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    Davesnave

    If your lorry causes damage to the footway then it is not the council's fault - even if the footway is poorly constructed.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    Is it the OP's lorry?
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 10th Jul 17, 12:10 PM
    • 615 Posts
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    Ganga
    Would it not be best to point out to the builder that " one of your lorries/delivery lorries has cracked the pavement " and they maywant to repair it themselves rather than the cost the council will pass on?
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Jul 17, 2:09 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Would it not be best to point out to the builder that " one of your lorries/delivery lorries has cracked the pavement " and they maywant to repair it themselves rather than the cost the council will pass on?
    Originally posted by Ganga
    Rather doubtful imo....and I would interpret any move by the company to say this as translating into "Can we please try and bodge it ourselves?" and the answer is obvious to that one.

    Even if they "repaired it themselves" I very much doubt whether it would be done to a normal standard (ie because it's hardly going to be one of their "things they normally do" and are experienced/trained in).
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Jul 17, 2:12 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    In the face of the complex answers being given, I think that's probably the conclusion many might come to!

    An home extension is a complex enough matter for the uninitiated to undertake, without also having to plan for the random actions of those they may not have employed directly.

    By all means pick it up with the council later, but my advice right now is to focus your eagle eyes on the build.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I can understand the logic of that - but (darn and double darn) having work done on the house always seems to be more blimmin' hassle than anticipated. One of the reasons being that one has to allow for firms not fulfilling their responsibilities towards other peoples property and one has to make them do so

    It's the way things are - darn it - in my experience

    It's called "being responsible oneself". Otherwise known as being able to show you've been "whiter than white" if anyone else (neighbours/the Council/etc) start "having a go"....whatever anyone else has been up to....
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-07-2017 at 2:14 PM.
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 10th Jul 17, 2:50 PM
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    AndyMc.....
    Rather doubtful imo....and I would interpret any move by the company to say this as translating into "Can we please try and bodge it ourselves?" and the answer is obvious to that one.

    Even if they "repaired it themselves" I very much doubt whether it would be done to a normal standard (ie because it's hardly going to be one of their "things they normally do" and are experienced/trained in).
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Replacing a few slabs is hardly specialised work.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 10th Jul 17, 3:11 PM
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    Furts
    Replacing a few slabs is hardly specialised work.
    Originally posted by AndyMc.....
    Plus typical council slabs are 600x600x50 grey hydraulically pressed - cheap as chips. Some older ones will be 900x600 which are really heavy beasts, but again they are available. Only if they are natural stone, or conservation slabs, do matters become a bit more difficult.

    The pragmatic answer to OP is to pay the builders to replace the slabs and then say nowt to anyone about the whys and whens.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 11th Jul 17, 7:51 PM
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    EachPenny
    Is it the OP's lorry?
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I was using 'your' in the context of Furts post (i.e. the owner/operator/person responsible for the lorry being there) rather than the OP as the householder. Not that being the householder lets you get away with damaging the council's footway by having lorries delivering to your site - councils can and do recover their costs from householders, regardless of whether it was 'their' lorry which caused the damage. It is a complex situation and varies between authorities.

    Would it not be best to point out to the builder that " one of your lorries/delivery lorries has cracked the pavement " and they maywant to repair it themselves rather than the cost the council will pass on?
    Originally posted by Ganga
    Carrying out (repair) work on the public highway is technically an offence unless you have a license/permission from the authority, or you are one of the statutory undertakers (or a person working on their behalf). Asking a builder to repair the damage to the footway could lead to a bigger bill from the council.

    Replacing a few slabs is hardly specialised work.
    Originally posted by AndyMc.....
    Agreed, and inexplicable how so many contractors and builders do simple repairs so badly. Getting the slabs laid level and flush, and bedded so they will stay there in future, does require quite a bit of skill.

    The pragmatic answer to OP is to pay the builders to replace the slabs and then say nowt to anyone about the whys and whens.
    Originally posted by Furts
    The OP might get away with it, but might not. It depends in part whether they had to apply for planning permission for the work. I suspect we may never know
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
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