Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby wastlinger » Wed May 13, 2015 11:34 am

We share a garden wall with a neighbour and we would like to put up a trellis so that we have some privacy in our garden. Assuming the wall straddles the boundary so that 50% is on our side and 50% is the neighbours side we have the following questions:

1. Are we entitled to put a privacy trellis on top of the wall, fixed only to our side of the wall?

2. If yes, are we required to give our neighbours notice? Again if yes, what is the purpose of giving notice other than being courteous, which presumably is not something required by law.

Many thanks in advance for any advice.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby Collaborate » Wed May 13, 2015 12:20 pm

This is the official government guidance (taken from here https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... pplement-3)

There are various notions that the way a wall or fence is constructed indicates ownership, for example that the posts and arris rails of a fence are on the owner’s side. There is, however, no legal foundation for such beliefs. Deeds may contain covenants to maintain a wall or fence but on their own, such covenants do not confer ownership. Where the ownership or responsibility for maintenance of a boundary cannot be determined, that boundary feature is generally best regarded as a party boundary. Any alterations or replacement of the boundary should only be done with the agreement of the adjoining owners.


Of course, just because it comes from the government that doesn't mean to say it's correct advice.

If you only attach the trellis to your side of the wall you will be OK.

Just make sure it's not higher than 2m, so you comply with planning regulations.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 13, 2015 12:23 pm

Hi wastlinger,

the short answers:

1. yes
2. no

the official guidance states:

Some works on a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be generally regarded as not necessary.
Things like:
drilling into a party wall to fix plugs and screws for ordinary wall units or shelving
• cutting into a party wall to add or replace recessed electric wiring and sockets
• removing old plaster and replastering
may all be too minor to require a notice under the Act.
However, the key point is whether your planned work might have any possible consequences for the structural strength and support functions of the party wall as a whole, or cause damage to the Adjoining Owner's side of the wall. If you are in doubt about whether your planned work requires a notice you might wish to seek advice from a qualified building professional.


Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby wastlinger » Sat May 16, 2015 11:41 am

Many thanks for your advice.

The shared garden wall, or party fence wall, was re-built a few years ago so that now around 70% of the wall is on our side of the boundary. The costs were shared between the previous owners and our neighbours and the wall is quite clearly a party fence wall. However, as most of the wall is on our side of the boundary, does this in any way impact ownership or what can be done to the wall by either party?

Lastly, after the wall was re-built, the neighbour raised their garden level by between 300mm and 400mm. This has raised 2 issues. Firstly regarding privacy as the neighbours now overlook our garden (the wall is 1100mm our side and ca 800mm their side). Secondly regarding the stability of the wall.

With regards to privacy and putting up a trellis, do we measure the 2m from their garden soil level or from ours. If the former, we should be able to put up a trellis measuring 2.3m from our soil level.

With regards to the wall's structural integrity, the wall will probably have to be re-built sooner rather than later. It was poorly constructed: slightly off-centre from the original foundations (by between 60mm and 75mm inwards to our side), no recognisable garden wall bond, hard cement with low lime content, no expansion joints, numerous variances in level etc. The neighbour project managed the construction and then decided, without notifying the previous owners, to raise his garden soil level after construction. When it does need to be re-built, is there any way I can get the neighbour to pay a greater share for the re-build? Should I, rather than wait for the wall to become dangerous or start spalling and buckling, ask for the wall be re-built professionally now?

Many thanks for any advice in advance.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat May 16, 2015 12:26 pm

Hi wastlinger,

you've not mentioned how thick the wall is - an important factor when talking about a retaining wall...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby arsie » Sun May 17, 2015 1:43 pm

To answer the OP's question, 2m is from original ground level. So, that would be from 'your' side.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby wastlinger » Sun May 17, 2015 8:54 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi wastlinger,

you've not mentioned how thick the wall is - an important factor when talking about a retaining wall...

Kind regards, Mac


The wall is one brick thick. ca 220mm.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm

wastlinger wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi wastlinger,

you've not mentioned how thick the wall is - an important factor when talking about a retaining wall...

Kind regards, Mac


The wall is one brick thick. ca 220mm.
are you certain that is the case for the first 300-400mm?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby wastlinger » Sun May 17, 2015 9:04 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:
wastlinger wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi wastlinger,

you've not mentioned how thick the wall is - an important factor when talking about a retaining wall...

Kind regards, Mac


The wall is one brick thick. ca 220mm.
are you certain that is the case for the first 300-400mm?

Kind regards, Mac


Yes. The wall is ca 1,100mm in height on our side and one brick thick from bottom to top. It is ca. 10m long, it has 2 piers in the middle and is tied into a 3m long and 4m high fan wall running from the rear of the house on one end, and again tied into the rear garden wall at the other end.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby wastlinger » Sun May 17, 2015 9:14 pm

arsie wrote:To answer the OP's question, 2m is from original ground level. So, that would be from 'your' side.


I suspect you are right but it doesn't really make sense if the purpose of the rule is firstly to allow one party (the one putting up the trellis) some privacy and secondly not to deny the other party sunlight.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun May 17, 2015 9:22 pm

wastlinger wrote:
arsie wrote:To answer the OP's question, 2m is from original ground level. So, that would be from 'your' side.


I suspect you are right but it doesn't really make sense if the purpose of the rule is firstly to allow one party (the one putting up the trellis) some privacy and secondly not to deny the other party sunlight.
¿qué
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby arsie » Sun May 17, 2015 9:39 pm

Wow Spanish too Mac - impressed.

But I too don't really 'get' the OP's comment. Sorry but rulez is rulez and the planning laws don't have to make sense with respect to putting up a trellis or anything else - only to limit the overall height in the general interest: for which the base line is the original level of the ground nearby.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby wastlinger » Mon May 18, 2015 10:55 am

arsie wrote:Wow Spanish too Mac - impressed.

But I too don't really 'get' the OP's comment. Sorry but rulez is rulez and the planning laws don't have to make sense with respect to putting up a trellis or anything else - only to limit the overall height in the general interest: for which the base line is the original level of the ground nearby.


Apologies for going slightly off-piste. I guess my point was; is this rule written in stone (ie rules are rules) or do planning show some flexibility when there are special circumstances (for example one garden soil level being higher than the other). In short, on what basis do planning consider applications to erect fences/garden trellis higher than 2m?

Many thanks so far for you help.
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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby arborlad » Mon May 18, 2015 12:13 pm

wastlinger wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi wastlinger,

you've not mentioned how thick the wall is - an important factor when talking about a retaining wall...

Kind regards, Mac


The wall is one brick thick. ca 220mm.



While the thickness of the wall is a factor, it is only one of many that need considering. Drainage and type of material to be retained also come into it, wet clay at the bottom of a hill will require a different structure to sandy loam at the top of a hill.

A free standing single brick wall of that height and good construction would normally be adequate, add in the retaining element and it brings it into doubt. You mention poor construction and materials, are you sure it is capable of having some additional load added to it?
arborlad

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Re: Party Fence Wall - Trellis

Postby arsie » Mon May 18, 2015 1:30 pm

wastlinger wrote:
arsie wrote:Wow Spanish too Mac - impressed.

But I too don't really 'get' the OP's comment. Sorry but rulez is rulez and the planning laws don't have to make sense with respect to putting up a trellis or anything else - only to limit the overall height in the general interest: for which the base line is the original level of the ground nearby.


Apologies for going slightly off-piste. I guess my point was; is this rule written in stone (ie rules are rules) or do planning show some flexibility when there are special circumstances (for example one garden soil level being higher than the other). In short, on what basis do planning consider applications to erect fences/garden trellis higher than 2m?

Many thanks so far for you help.

Sorry but I don't know what flexibility planning may show and anyway this may vary with time and place. Why don't you contact planning and explain the situation to 'see how the ground lies' for you to gain permission for 2m from the new height of your neighbour's garden? Also a subtle way of drawing the extra height to the planners' attention, as maybe your neighbour should have asked for permission for this added height in the first place.
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