Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby bristol1 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:36 pm

We live in a semi-detached house. Off the two boundary walls in the rear garden, the wall separating the property on the left and us is wholly on our land and the wall separating the property on the right and us is wholly on our neighbours land. As such, neither of the walls is a party wall.

The wall that is on the neighbours land is 1m tall of breeze block construction. We would like to build a wall that is 1.7m tall right up against the existing wall, i.e. boundary wall at the line of junction but not astride the boundary. When we discussed this verbally with our neighbour, they refused to give us consent.

Whilst the neighbour’s wall is on their land, the footings of their wall project into our land (below land level). Their footing is 10cm deep and projecting width is 15cm on to our land. Therefore, if we were to build a wall adjoining their wall, the block work of our wall would rest on their footing that is on our land. To ensure good load distribution, we propose to extend the width of the existing footing by another 15cm. Since our wall will be higher, the depth of our footing will be 20cm, i.e. deeper than their footing. We also intend to lay 10 cm strip of concrete under the part of their footing that is on our land. So effectively, the footing that we construct will be L shaped but wholly on our land. The footing will not be of “special construction” type as defined in the PWA.

Furthermore, the coping stones of the neighbour’s wall overhang on to our property by 5cm. Unless I leave a 5cm gap between the two walls, I will have to cut the overhanging coping to enable my construction.

From what I have understood after reading the PWA, all three sections 1, 2 & 6 apply in my case:

Section 1(5) – I need to merely inform them 2 weeks in advance that I am building at the line of junction – so no issue here because they cannot object.

Section 2(2)(h) – because I intend to cut the part of their coping stone that overhangs on our land. It seems that they will not consent to this and hence we will be at "dispute" and I will have to pay to drag in surveyors.

Section 6 – because I will need to excavate 10cm deeper than the footing of their boundary wall which will obviously be within 3m of the proposed building work. I guess they can make it awkward and expensive for us by demanding that surveyors are appointed.

My question is whether the 3m rule of Section 6 apply here, i.e. is their boundary wall considered a building? I ask because section 2(2)(g) and 2(2)(h) seem to distinguish between the terms “wall” and “building”.

If I can get out of Section 6 then I should be able to find ways to work around the projecting coping stones.

Thanks for reading this post.
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby despair » Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:01 am

not aware that PWA applies to garden walls

if the wall is on your land cannot see the neighbours have any right to object
it is you who should be able to object to the overhang of their coping stones

mind you its going to look odd their side if your wall is 70cm higher maybe they need to think about things and be more realistic

depending on what you construct your wall from can you not simply cut the bricks width by 5cm where they meet the coping stones and carry on above

i think your neighbours need to sit down and think about all this sensibly

a breeze block wall is hardly a thing of beauty after all
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby bristol1 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:26 am

Prior to taking decision to construct my own wall, I had asked them if I could raise the height of their wall at my expense - they said no. I asked if I cut put a trelis on top of their wall - they said no. They are okay with me putting up a fence on my side but don't want me to cut through their footings for the fence posts. And I don't fancy leaving a 15cm gap between the fence and their wall - infact I refuse to do so. Besides the fence is no longer a consideration.
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby despair » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:50 am

well i would give it one last go at asking them to consider how its going to look when you build a nice wall behind and slam tight to their ugly breeze block one and 70cm higher in fact if i was you i would build it the full 2m in case they ddcide to hide their wall with a 2 m fence
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby bristol1 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:18 am

I have attached a sketch of what I am proposing.

Untitled.png

Another option could be to have my footing in an inverted L shape, i.e. rest on top of their footing rather than support their footing from underneath. That way I do not trigger section 6 however structurally it does not sound logical.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:43 am

Hi bristol1,

from what you've described, just building a wall:

PWA s1 (5) confirms you'd need to give your neighbour a month's notice of your intentions - your neighbour cannot serve a Counter Notice, though, as these are only served in response to Party structure notices.

if you cut the coping stones:

PWA s1 (7) confirms you must compensate your neighbour for any damage you might cause.
PWA s2 is inapplicable because it only concerns party structures.

if you underpin his wall:

PWA s6 again confirms you'd need to give your neighbour a month's notice of your intentions and goes on to specify that you must state whether you intend to underpin or otherwise strengthen their wall - this notice must be accompanied by plans and (crucially, for you) you can only proceed if they formally consent.

in short, if you're trying to avoid a PWA dispute you'll need to have a rethink - is it possible to build a similar wall without having to underpin their wall too?

Kind regards, Mac
edit: just seen our posts crossed in the ether - run your ideas passed someone qualified
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby bristol1 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:25 pm

@despair and MacadamB53, thank you for your input.

MacadamB53 wrote:if you cut the coping stones:

PWA s2 is inapplicable because it only concerns party structures.

I would have thought that section 2 would apply in my case if I wanted to cut the coping stones because Section 2 states that

This section applies where lands of different owners adjoin and
at the line of junction the said lands are built on or a boundary wall, being
a party fence wall or the external wall of a building, has been erected.

(g) to cut away from a party wall, party fence wall, external wall or
boundary wall any footing or any projecting chimney breast,
jamb or flue, or other projection on or over the land of the
building owner in order to erect, raise or underpin any such wall

or for any other purpose;

Anyway, as suggested, I will discuss one final time with the neighbour and also check with local building reg inspector if there is a way that would avoid underpinning or strengthening their wall footings.

I will post an update as soon as I have reached a resolution.
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:34 pm

Hi bristol1,

I've highlighted the bit you seem to be misunderstanding...

This section applies where lands of different owners adjoin and at the line of junction the said lands are built on or a boundary wall, being a party fence wall or the external wall of a building, has been erected.

since the boundary wall in question is neither a party fence wall (ie a garden wall straddling the boundary) or an external wall of a building, the section is inapplicable.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby despair » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:54 pm

Thats what i thought
The OP does not need toapply the PWA

i agree one last go to get the neighbour to see the folly of their refusal

and dont cut the coping stones just cut your bricks to work around them and carry on .......get crafty
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby Collaborate » Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:18 pm

Doesn't the PWA say you have to notify a neighbour if you're intending to build on or at the boundary of two properties?

https://www.gov.uk/party-walls-building ... bour-about

You must tell your neighbour if you want to:

build on or at the boundary of your 2 properties
work on an existing party wall or party structure
dig below and near to the foundation level of their property
Examples of this type of work include:

building a new wall
cutting into a party wall
making a party wall taller, shorter or deeper
removing chimneys from a party wall
knocking down and rebuilding a party wall

Also see para 22 of this booklet https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... ooklet.pdf

You must also inform the Adjoining Owner by serving a notice if you plan to build a wall wholly on your own land but up against the boundary line. You may want to base your notice on Example Letter 6.
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:55 pm

Hi Collaborate,

you're right - the PWA is applicable.

I'm not sure why despair thinks otherwise(?)

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby despair » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:36 pm

if the PWA applies the OP is stuffed because the neighbours wont agree
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Re: Garden wall adjoining a boundary wall

Postby Collaborate » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:15 am

despair wrote:if the PWA applies the OP is stuffed because the neighbours wont agree


I don't see why that should be the case. It seems to me that example letter 7 would be required, which doesn't even need an acknowledgment from the neighbour. The overhanging coping stone can be dealt with by simply working around it, covering it top and bottom. No need to slice it off. Box it in instead.
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