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  • FIRST POST
    • Nadeshkarine
    • By Nadeshkarine 2nd Dec 17, 12:36 PM
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    Nadeshkarine
    Neighbours seeking planning for extension with new party wall
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 17, 12:36 PM
    Neighbours seeking planning for extension with new party wall 2nd Dec 17 at 12:36 PM
    Hello again - second post in as many weeks but unrelated to my previous issue (I guess housing issues are like busses? )
    Writing this on behalf of a family member who lives in a Victorian terrace.
    Their neighbours have applied for planning permission to do a kitchen extension into their side return, which includes building a new party wall on/across the boundary. I.e. It will eat into their garden by a couple of inches an affect a drain which they have up against the boundary.

    They're pensioners and I want to make sure they know their rights and understand the implications.
    The first they heard about this was when they received letters from third parties about the application. They don't really want to lose inches of their garden (there's plants up against the boundary fence now) or their drains affected. They have zero intention of extending into their side return so wouldn't realise any benefit of leveraging this wall.

    My question is would the planning permission be granted without them signing an agreement for them to build on their land? If they get the planning permission (they are going to object but I guess it could still be approved) does that allow them to encroach on their garden, can they force consent in this manner?
    Without their consent I presume the wall can only be up to their boundary and all foundations on their own side?
    Trying to understand how they've got as far into an application without an agreement from my relative. Until I looked at the plans my relative didn't realise it meant losing part of their flower bed so they haven't yet objected (nor signed anything however) and deadline is in the next 10 days.

    Thanks for any advice
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 2nd Dec 17, 12:41 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 12:41 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 12:41 PM
    If they get the planning permission does that allow them to encroach on their garden, can they force consent in this manner?
    Originally posted by Nadeshkarine
    No, it just means that as a matter of planning the development is approved. Doesn't affect land ownership or any other rights between the neighbours.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 2nd Dec 17, 1:09 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 1:09 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 1:09 PM
    The neighbours have got the cheek of the devil to just assume they can casually grab for a bit of someone else's garden (even if it isnt very much) and muck around with their drains.

    Time those neighbours had a reality check

    I know G_M would advocate "coffee and cakes" approach. Personally I'd go round there and say words to effect of "I guess you didn't realise your application would mean taking a couple of inches of my garden and affecting my drains. Never mind - we all make mistakes sometimes and so I don't suppose you realised it would affect me the way things stand at present and so isnt possible and I can't agree to it".

    I bet they darn well did realise and it's a try-on by them and there will be a guilty look on their face at that point - but the message would have been got over of "No way Hosea" to them and I doubt those proposed intrusions would go any further.
    #MeToo

    Ain't neva gonna learn to be a good "woman"
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 2nd Dec 17, 2:56 PM
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    ProDave
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 2:56 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 2:56 PM
    The neighbour can built UP to the boundary, NOT beyond it.

    In order to build UP to the boundary, he may need a party wall agreement to allow him to have the footings go partly under your land, and allow eaves or gutters to overhang.

    Without that agreement, all parts of the extension, including footings and overhangs must not trespass on your land, so there would have to be a step back in the line of the extension to ensure that happened.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Dec 17, 3:04 PM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:04 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:04 PM
    It's important they (you) understand the respective rights and obligations of each side. Start by reading up on the Act:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/party-wall-etc-act-1996-guidance

    It's also important to understand that the Act is not mandatory, and that starting/completing works witthout a Party Wall Agreement is not an offence.

    Where a neighbour starts work (or appears to be about to start work) without a PW Agreement, the only solution (aside from tea & cake to reach a friendly compromise) is to apply for a court injuncttion forcing the neighbour to stop work until a PW Agreement is in place.

    If you don't seek a court injunction, the neighbour does nothing wrong in continuing work (so far as the Act is concerned - the law of trespass is separate).

    And the Act is of no help at all once work is complete.
    Last edited by G_M; 02-12-2017 at 7:44 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 2nd Dec 17, 3:09 PM
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    lincroft1710
    • #6
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:09 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:09 PM
    I don't know if it still happens but there used to be a firm of surveyors who specialised in PWAs, who would search out planning applications and send letters to neighbours volunteering their services.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Dec 17, 3:27 PM
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    G_M
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:27 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:27 PM
    I don't know if it still happens but there used to be a firm of surveyors who specialised in PWAs, who would search out planning applications and send letters to neighbours volunteering their services.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Yes, some firms still do this - just like the vultures who read obituries and write to relatives offering house clearance, and the no-wwin-no-fee solicitors who encourage car insurance claimants to claim for personal injury.

    Personally I'd never respond to any of these speculative marketing approaches.

    You want a Party Wall surveyor? Do some research and find a recomended local surveyor yourself........
    • Nadeshkarine
    • By Nadeshkarine 2nd Dec 17, 4:27 PM
    • 13 Posts
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    Nadeshkarine
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 17, 4:27 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 17, 4:27 PM
    The neighbours have got the cheek of the devil to just assume they can casually grab for a bit of someone else's garden (even if it isnt very much) and muck around with their drains.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Yes I had some choice words but given the public forum tried to keep my words neutral and kept things non personal...

    The neighbour can built UP to the boundary, NOT beyond it.

    In order to build UP to the boundary, he may need a party wall agreement to allow him to have the footings go partly under your land, and allow eaves or gutters to overhang.

    Without that agreement, all parts of the extension, including footings and overhangs must not trespass on your land, so there would have to be a step back in the line of the extension to ensure that happened.
    Originally posted by ProDave
    Great, this is exactly what I was hoping to confirm. They don't want to stop them extending entirely (not that they could) but don't see why they should sacrifice their space for someone else's kitchen.

    I don't know if it still happens but there used to be a firm of surveyors who specialised in PWAs, who would search out planning applications and send letters to neighbours volunteering their services.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Yup this is in fact how they found out about the plans!

    Thanks for all of this. To be clear, my relatives don't want to be petty and equally are not fools, however it is clear that the neighbours have money and we're really hoping this doesn't turn into a legal battle. I have read on these forums and in papers how bad these things can get...

    The previous neighbours were like family and it's just disappointing that the new ones had barely unpacked when they've lodged this request and not even come to say hi...

    Once they got that vulture surveyor letter they went round to discuss and that's when they were given the plans in a 2 minute chat*, where it wasn't made explicit that the wall was over the boundary. My relative thought it was a wall against the boundary (and still concerned enough about those flowers & drains), till I pointed it out that the small dotted line in the wall was their current fence!

    They are getting their own independent surveyor to look at them, I was just concerned that neighbours could somehow use permitted development/planning permission to allow them to build on the boundary/encroach.

    The gardens here are classic postage stamp size that you get in inner city terraces so I can't imagine sacrificing some for more internal space, but hey-ho we all have different preferences.

    Moreover I just don't understand applying for planning permission to build on something you don't own! Hopefully they don't get petty when asked to scale back to stay on their side and then extension could go ahead and hopefully new neighbours can become new friends. But I fear that in general those days are gone
    Last edited by Nadeshkarine; 03-12-2017 at 10:15 AM.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 2nd Dec 17, 6:23 PM
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    Davesnave
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:23 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:23 PM
    Are you sure that what appears to be the wall isn't the footings of the wall? The footings would have to encroach if the wall is built to the boundary. Even if the wall were set back a little, it's possible that there will be some disruption on your relatives' side. Building is messy, scaffolding is usually required, and services aren't always where people think they are either!

    With terraced properties, it's often better if the boundary is built up to, as it's an advantage with later development if the two extensions aren't left with a stupid inacessible gap between them to fill with leaves and rubbish, to say nothing of having to lay bricks overhand. In that sense the neighbours are spot-on. Although your family member doesn't think what they're saying is relevant, they are not necessarily being rude.

    Personally I don't see a problem with someone buying a house and starting an extension immediately.They don't own the property any more if they wait 6 months, but of course they should liaise with neighbours well before starting.

    Finally, anyone can apply for PP on any piece of land, owned or not. Planning consent is nothing to do with land ownership, but rest assured that these folk wont be able to build over the boundary if that is really what they had in mind. Frankly, it wouldn't be in their interests to do that.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 2nd Dec 17, 7:33 PM
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    teddysmum
    Are you sure that what appears to be the wall isn't the footings of the wall? The footings would have to encroach if the wall is built to the boundary. Even if the wall were set back a little, it's possible that there will be some disruption on your relatives' side. Building is messy, scaffolding is usually required, and services aren't always where people think they are either!

    With terraced properties, it's often better if the boundary is built up to, as it's an advantage with later development if the two extensions aren't left with a stupid inacessible gap between them to fill with leaves and rubbish, to say nothing of having to lay bricks overhand. In that sense the neighbours are spot-on. Although your family member doesn't think what they're saying is relevant, they are not necessarily being rude.

    Originally posted by Davesnave


    Originally our next neighbour, had a low wooden fence between our gardens, but it proved useless as wooden posts and panels could not withstand winds, so a couple of years on, he told us we would be pleased to know that he was having a new fence, this time five feet high but of much better quality.

    This was no problem, until one morning I looked outside and saw a man who had removed the old fence, digging holes in our garden. I went out to explain that we had not given permission, so he asked me to contact the owner ,who was staying at a partner's home.

    Brian came over and we had a chat with the fence maker. It turned out that Brian hadn't realised that the man would need to enter our side and the man, knowing that I had been told about the fence, assumed I knew about the need to encroach.

    It turned out that he needed to insert concrete from both sides in order to mount the uprights, but he assured me that he had carefully removed turf and that it would regrow as though there had been o disturbance, knowing this as he also did landscape gardening.

    A year on and you can't tell and we have a stronger, better looking boundary fence.

    I agree about narrow gaps between buildings, as our garage and the other neighbours' have a gap of about 80cm. When the neighbour noticed a wild shrub growing from their side, she asked if my husband could squeeze down and cut the shrub as she and her son wouldn't feel comfortable there, but he, too, refused as he is no longer the slim person I married, so the shrub had to have some weedkiller dropped on it from the garage roof.

    I could probably fit, but would have been afraid of getting stuck, especially as the other garage has an extension over it, which would emphasise the narrowness.
    Last edited by teddysmum; 02-12-2017 at 7:36 PM.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 2nd Dec 17, 11:02 PM
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    Doozergirl
    Hang on. I’ve stopped reading here. Just because someone tells you something on a forum, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Saying ‘that’s what I wanted to hear’ does not make it fact, nor is an uninformed emotional response the right one.

    Knowledge on this board of the Party Wall Act is weak. I am certainly no expert but I do at least have some direct experience of it.

    A new party wall is allowed. They can ‘encroach’, they are not being cheeky if it is specifically a party wall, built astride the boundary.

    Planning Permission has nothing to do with the Party Wall Act. If planning permission is granted, that is when the neighbours will serve notice under the Party Wall Act, at which point your parents can accept the work, employ the surveyor serving notice to work for both parties, or employ their own Party Wall Surveyor. There is no point in them addressing the party wall issue before obtaining permission because it costs money and there is no guarantee of planning permission being granted.

    I would say that the neighbours (or their agents) are actually rather clued up if they understand that building a new party wall is, in the long run, better for both parties.

    People make such pigs ears building extensions slightly away from boundaries that it causes problems when the other neighbour wants to extend. You end up with unsightly extensions and potential damp traps between walls which are too close together. I appreciate that your parents don’t want to extend, but in the long term, it is the most sensible option in a terrace. After all, that is how the houses are built in the first place.

    They can speak to a party wall surveyor. Not an internet forum about house buying, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Party Wall Act.

    A new party wall would encroach no more than the average fence post.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 03-12-2017 at 8:45 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 2nd Dec 17, 11:09 PM
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    Doozergirl
    Also, these things get legal and costly when they argue over 15cm of land that would otherwise contain a fence.

    It simply is not worth it.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Mickygg
    • By Mickygg 3rd Dec 17, 8:05 AM
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    Mickygg
    Also, these things get legal and costly when they argue over 15cm of land that would otherwise contain a fence.

    It simply is not worth it.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Costly yes, worth it yes.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 3rd Dec 17, 8:30 AM
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    Doozergirl
    Costly yes, worth it yes.
    Originally posted by Mickygg
    It depends on what you value. I don’t place much value on a fence being replaced by a continuation of a party wall that already exists inside the house without the same people getting upset about losing space. Because it forms a valuable piece of their home.

    Even if I didn’t intend to extend, it would be a benefit for the next owner and I would have joint ownership of that wall in the meantime. Ultimately, that 15cm saves at least an additional 30cm being lost to a boundary wall when the other house is eventually extended, which it almost certainly will be.

    The wall is coming, regardless, and the neighbours do have the right to place footings astride the boundary even if the placement of the wall itself is entirely on the neighbour’s side. Placing the wall astride the boundary as a continuation of the existing party wall, being able to use that wall for an interior wall of a future extension, have half ownership of it in the meantime and agree the look of it of it is an advantage over looking at the side of a wall that the neighbour has no responsibility to make attractive for you. I suspect that a battle would result in a neighbour being less amenable. Who wants to look at an unrendered concrete block wall?

    No one marks their boundary with a line of no width, which is what a boundary has. Something of bulk has to mark it, losing space for someone.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 03-12-2017 at 8:43 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 3rd Dec 17, 8:36 AM
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    Davesnave
    Costly yes, worth it yes.
    Originally posted by Mickygg
    You're probably right that people with a certain sort of mind set will define value in their own terms and pay virtually any amount they can afford for almost nothing.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 3rd Dec 17, 8:38 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    But if these particular current owners of this house aren't ever going to want an extension themselves personally = they aren't likely to care if some future owner might want an extension.

    What they will care about is the "here and now" - of mucking up their flowerbeds and putting them through hassle that won't give them personally any benefit.

    It's an analogous situation to I've just re-done my kitchen - and I didnt leave space in case a future owner may want a dishwasher. I did what I personally want right now - as it's my house right now and I'm the one paying for it/dealing with the hassle. By the time I come to die (which is when my house and, one presumes, the house OP is talking about come to be sold) it will be quite a few years down the line and what the next owner (in decades time) does is their business and not ours right now.
    #MeToo

    Ain't neva gonna learn to be a good "woman"
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 3rd Dec 17, 8:59 AM
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    Doozergirl
    But if these particular current owners of this house aren't ever going to want an extension themselves personally = they aren't likely to care if some future owner might want an extension.

    What they will care about is the "here and now" - of mucking up their flowerbeds and putting them through hassle that won't give them personally any benefit.

    It's an analogous situation to I've just re-done my kitchen - and I didnt leave space in case a future owner may want a dishwasher. I did what I personally want right now - as it's my house right now and I'm the one paying for it/dealing with the hassle. By the time I come to die (which is when my house and, one presumes, the house OP is talking about come to be sold) it will be quite a few years down the line and what the next owner (in decades time) does is their business and not ours right now.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    The flower beds are going to be affected anyway! The decisions to be made don’t involve whether or not their plants are damaged. They will be. The Act allows for reinstatement at the neighbour’s cost.

    You cannot stop your neighbour extending their footings onto your land. The Party Wall Act is an enabling act, not something to be argued over. It may well be that there is a fence in the same position already.

    I’ve already stated ways in which it benefits people who do not intend to extend. Your dishwasher analogy is awful. One unit can be removed and replaced with a dishwasher at any point, with virtually no cost implications and control is maintained always by the owner of the house. A wall over the other side can mean footings under your land but gives control over the wall entirely to the neighbour. Would you choose to look at this?
    https://imgur.com/gallery/Os6J7
    Because that is what they can give you and still destroy your flower beds. And you won’t even be allowed to hang a basket on it.

    A party wall is expensive and permanent and needs to be considered. It should not involve knee jerk reactions about land grab. There is a reason that you spend so much of your time stressed and in conflict. You genuinely beleive that if you think something, it is fact. It isn’t. You have a choice about how to feel and think and other people have feelings and opinions too. Some of them are considered and some of them even have laws backing them up.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 03-12-2017 at 9:02 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • loveka
    • By loveka 3rd Dec 17, 9:04 AM
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    loveka
    Hello. Having just been through hell on earth with the same thing, I thought I would offer my advice.

    The footings are allowed to encroach on the other side, as long as a party wall agreement is in place. They are allowed to build from the other side, again with an agreement in place. This means they can destroy the garden on the other side. They would be required to reinstate the garden exactly as it was afterwards. What usually happens is that they would lodge the money in an account before the work starts.

    You are entitled to appoint your own party wall surveyor who looks after your interests. They pay for this surveyor.

    If they start work without a party wall agreement then you have to seek an injunction to stop the work.

    In my case, they started without an award. While I was away they dug up my garden. I now have a huge wall where once there was a fence covered in beautiful roses and clematis. I can't replant near the wall as anything I grow can't be attached to the wall itself. So I would have to put a fence in front of the wall, thus losing a few inches of garden.

    I was too late to get an injunction. My solicitor said it would cost up to £3 k to get one anyway. My neighbours view was that he had done everything the act allows, but just without the expense of an award.

    I am now faced with going to court to get the money for the garden. The stress has nearly killed me. Do I want to go through legal proceedings, having the stress carry on? Well, I want him to pay what he owes me, but many would say to let it go.

    I am trying to move. I thought I knew what hate meant, but I really didn't until I met this man I now have to live next door to.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 3rd Dec 17, 9:19 AM
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    Davesnave
    What they will care about is the "here and now" - of mucking up their flowerbeds and putting them through hassle that won't give them personally any benefit.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    That's how it looks, but it comes down to acceptance of change, understanding and helpfulness.

    Here, there seems to be little acceptance that the changes will happen, or much understanding of what they'll involve.

    It sounds like the neighbours have probably got off on the wrong foot, but where this goes now and the amount of hassle generated is very much a live issue, born out of the relationship which is formed as work progresses. Being unhelpful, besides being un-neighbourly, could be very counter productive.

    As I've recounted before, a relative of mine had a neighbiour object to his building a wall on the boundary. The person was as obstructive as possible and refused all access. The wall was still built, just rather badly, because laying bricks overhand isn't easy and the bricklayer was instructed not to worry too much. The result was structurally OK, but it didn't look very good. Only the neighbour had to look at it though!

    Four years later, the neighbour asked for that wall to be improved, so it was agreed that my relative would have it rendered. He even let the neighbour choose the colour.

    Neighbours can be a pain, but trying to meeting them half way is usually the most intelligent strategy when their ideas don't necessarily coincide with one's own.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 3rd Dec 17, 9:26 AM
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    Davesnave
    I am now faced with going to court to get the money for the garden. The stress has nearly killed me. Do I want to go through legal proceedings, having the stress carry on? Well, I want him to pay what he owes me, but many would say to let it go.

    I am trying to move. I thought I knew what hate meant, but I really didn't until I met this man I now have to live next door to.
    Originally posted by loveka
    You are not in a good place.

    How much of that is of your own making isn't possible for anyone else to determine, but if moving helps you to gain inner peace again, that's what you should do.

    Frankly, a bit of garden soil is worth very little, compared with one's wellbeing.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
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