Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:25 pm

Hi annie,

is the marking in the map referenced in the wording of the conveyance?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby annie08 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:32 pm

Thanks Mac. Our farmhouse and land and their barns and land were originally all one and owned by the Coal Board. At some point they separated the land into two plots by building the stone boundary wall. In the conveyance deed when they sold our house and land to my father in law they included a map identifying the party walls as A-B, B-C etc so there is no doubt on that score. They later sold the barns and land to the tenant farmer next door. I think I'm right in saying its a type A wall?


We would like to think we can negotiate with them to build us a new frame on top of the original brick base with a roof that does not need a supporting wall.


At the other end of the wall we may have a bigger problem. Tight in the corner is a huge self seeded sycamore with a TPO. It is pushing the wall out on their side yet they propose attaching the gable end of a new garage to it. We do not want to find ourselves being claimed against for root damage by whoever buys the house at some point in the future. That will be one main objection to the application.

There are also issues regarding how work that requires access from our land will be carried out. There is a modern barn with an asbestos roof and gable end that butts up to the wall halfway along it. They will need to erect scaffolding to take it down. They will probably need scaffolding to take down the gable end that's holding up our greenhouse at the right hand side of the wall and scaffolding to build the new gable end next to the sycamore at the other end of the garden. Ours is a heavily planted mature garden which will inevitably suffer damage. The top of the wall does not have stone coping stones but domed concrete which is cracked in places. It needs replacing the whole length of the wall and we have several climbing plants including my precious wisteria growing against the wall.

The first successful application, which has been replaced with this recent one, provided for conversion of the barns so none of the issues I've mentioned would have arisen. The new application is to demolish the barns and build one two storey dwelling. We will object to this on the grounds that only four years ago conversion was deemed viable so we can't see any arguable reason to deem the new build house appropriate given we live in a conservation area and the councils unitary development plan says they will always seek conversion if viable.


I sincerely hope they reject the plans!!! Thanks. Annie
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:50 pm

Hi annie,

In the conveyance deed when they sold our house and land to my father in law they included a map identifying the party walls as A-B, B-C etc so there is no doubt on that score.

do you mean the wording in the deed mentioned that some of the boundary features were to be considered party walls and that these could be identified by referring to the map?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby annie08 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:08 pm

Yes Mac. The reference to the plan included in the deed is : The division boundary walls between the points A to B and the points C to D and D to E marked on the said plan shall be and remain party walls severed vertically in accordance with section 38 of the Law of Property Act 1925 and shall be maintained at the joint expense of the purchasers and the adjoining owners.
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby Collaborate » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:34 am

OP - it's up to you what you choose to do, but as a party wall is owned jointly, they cannot alter it without your consent. Quite simply, refuse your consent and the wall must remain as it is. Take lots of photos now, as if they do alter it without your consent you'll be able to claim from them the cost of remedying the situation.
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby annie08 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:49 am

Many thanks. As the boundary wall includes the gable end of the barn, technically I suppose that means we could be described as joint owners of part of the barn.
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby annie08 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:37 am

Collaborate - that's the bit I can't get my head around because of what I've read about the Party Wall Act. It seems to say if a surveyor makes a Party Wall Award then both parties are bound by it. I must be interpreting it wrongly.
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby Hugh Jaleak » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:22 pm

Just because both parties are bound by it, 'mistakes' do still happen. My parents neighbours were at the end of the existing developed area. A large mature hedge, stood next to their property, with a public footpath running in between. Other side of the hedge were Allotments, however these had been earmarked for homes for some years. In anticipation, the Council put a TPO on the hedge. Developers made a 'mistake' and removed the hedge. Too late once it was pulled out. :(
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby annie08 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:52 pm

Yes, I've heard of "mistakes" like that before. I they were fined by the Council!
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby Hugh Jaleak » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:13 pm

Sadly though, fines are factored in by greedy developers, who are happy to ride roughshod over the wishes of anyone who stands in their way. Whilst they cannot alter this wall without your consent, it doesn't mean they wont 'accidentally' alter it.... That's why others have said take plenty of pictures, and it is often advised to include a copy of that days paper in the shot to preclude any suggestions the picture predates any agreements.

Take no chances and act now to protect your interests. Sad I know, but we're in a dog eat dog world, this forum alone contains may a tale of woe, with hindsight being a wonderful thing.
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby ukmicky » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:40 pm

annie08 wrote:Collaborate - that's the bit I can't get my head around because of what I've read about the Party Wall Act. It seems to say if a surveyor makes a Party Wall Award then both parties are bound by it. I must be interpreting it wrongly.


A party wall award must be complied with and the only way to challenge it is through the courts.

A party wall award can only allow work which the party wall legislation allows .

The legislation says

Section 2


subject to the provisions of section 11(7), to reduce, or to demolish and rebuild, a party wall or party fence wall t
(i)
a height of not less than two metres where the wall is not used by an adjoining owner to any greater extent than a boundary wall; or
(ii)
a height currently enclosed upon by the building of an adjoining owner;


This section allows him to reduce the height of a party wall or party fence wall to 2 meters providing there is not a building attached which will be compromised. So basically any parts which separate the gardens can be reduced under the act providing he issues a notice but any part which is enclosed upon where the green house is must be maintained unless you agree to any reducing in height.


If he issues you with a notice do not send anything back yourself. . Not replying legally means you do not agree to the works and he then must then either abandon his plans or gain a party wall award which will mean you will need your own party wall surveyor to look after your interests.

However because the cost of your surveyor is paid for by the person who is proposing to do the works from the moment you receive a valid party wall notice, you will hire a partywall surveyor straight away. He will then under your instruction issue a counter notice under section 4 requiring the height of part which is built against to be maintained.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby annie08 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:53 pm

Many thanks ukmickey. That clarifies the situation nicely. Thank you Hugh, have taken lots of photos today! Annie.
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby annie08 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:53 pm

Hi again - The point at which the greenhouse is attached is about two thirds up the wall just underneath the point at which the existing roof of the barn begins. Would the conditions of the PWA allow them to slice off the top section of the wall not supporting our greenhouse and level it off? Thanks. Annie
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby ukmicky » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:00 am

annie08 wrote:Hi again - The point at which the greenhouse is attached is about two thirds up the wall just underneath the point at which the existing roof of the barn begins. Would the conditions of the PWA allow them to slice off the top section of the wall not supporting our greenhouse and level it off? Thanks. Annie

Yes
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Re: Developers application to reduce height of party wall

Postby annie08 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:44 am

Many thanks. A different question this time! At the other end of the boundary wall we have a TPO'd sycamore which is pushing the wall put. The planning application includes for extending one of the other barns up to this wall to create a covered parking space. So there would be a supporting gable end wall built up against the damaged boundary wall. What If the new structure was affected by further tree root growth and the successors in title wanted the tree removed. We don't want to lose the tree if at all possible but I wonder what would happen if the the LA refused to lift the TPO in order for felling to take place. Would they have any financial responsibility re damage caused by the tree? Annie.
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