Safe wall height?

Re: Safe wall height?

Postby despair » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:19 pm

If the Farm side land has been consistantly raised without PP I doubt the wall will stand the strain

surely the Building regs officers have the power to sort this out

The developers could be liable for all that lot falling into the OPs land

sounds like they should formally be "put on notice " to that problem now
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:45 pm

Thanks despair - we are indeed concerned a section the wall will fall down once they begin removing the concrete attached on the other side. I understand they will have to serve notice before any work commences but are you saying we should serve some kind of notice on them? Their plans are submitted but not decided upon yet.


The wall is substantial, I previously estimated it but have just measured it now and it is 2' thick. The infilled hard standing on the farm side has been like that for years and the wall seems not to be affected apart from in one corner where our sycamore tree is pushing the wall out.
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:53 pm

Hi annie,

The infilled hard standing on the farm side has been like that for years

there's your grounds for appeal if enforcement action is taken because the LPA deem the screening solution to be a breach of planning law on the basis it's more than 2m tall measuring from your side.

at 2' thick I'd fancy it was built to retain some of their land anyway - so the 90cm difference in ground levels isn't entirely as a result of 'infill'?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby despair » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:10 pm

i think you might need to do a lot of research on this

try library etc for old arial photos

make a nuiscance of yourself with building regs officer,planners local councillor

if you find a friend of a friend who is a civil engineer who knows what might happen

and yes my personal view is that you need to write a letter to developers headed " putting you on notice "

detail all the concerns

copy it to the planners and local councillor and keep a copy

gather together all forms of free help you can find
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:53 pm

My apologies chaps. My husband says I've mistakenly been misleading you. Originally the land over the north wall to the rear of us and our land and farmhouse were all one. At some point the rear part was walled off and sold to the tenant farmer who has since retired. The ground level of that land is naturally higher by approx 50cm because of an incline.


Re the west wall the ground level was ramped up by the farmer many years ago which is why there is a potential privacy problem now. There is a low wall near the back of the farmhouse immediately in front of the chicken shed so I have measured both sides and can tell the ground has been raised up by approx 70 cm high where it meets the wall. (An elderly neighbour told me this afternoon she remembers him creating a ramp). In view of what despair has said perhaps the wall has done well to withstand the weight of having the levels raised.


Apologies again for misleading you all. I hope I've made things clearer now. Annie
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby despair » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:40 am

You are still well within your rights to query the stability of the wall to withstand building works and rain water build up

clearly the tenant farmer ignored all the rules by creating a ramp

watch out that if your tree is creating a problem that the developers do not turn tables on you
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:50 pm

Update - following submission of our objections the developer has asked for a meeting with us asap. Apparently they intend to lower the hard standing on their side so we won't be overlooked from the west wall which is good. They say they will lower the barn gable end which forms part of the joint north boundary wall only enough to preserve our greenhouse. They will also indemnify us against any damage to it. We would be fine with that.

They say our privacy from a two story dwelling rather than one will be preserved by the use of contemporary timber slats to the exterior of the bedroom windows. I don't think they fit with the character of the village and will ask them what is to stop the purchasers simply removing them. I've looked at images on the web and they seem to be simply bolted on to the window frames.


Re their intention to attach an extension for a covered parking to an existing barn at the other end of the north wall 60cm from our TPO'd tree they say they will indemnify us against any claims for structural damage caused by the tree. This needs clarification at the meeting. I don't understand how they can do that as they will be selling the property on after construction. Also they say, should their application be granted, they will instruct a structural engineer to report on the likely impact of the tree in the design of the structure. I would rather a report was made now rather than later. I will report back once they have been on site but am thinking that we should take despairs advice and employ our own structural engineer. Annie
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby despair » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:30 am

Whatever the developer proposes or agrees

INSIST on a legally binding deed which applies to future owners on their site and that they pay all legal fees for you to get it checked by a GOOD land solicitor not just jo blogs

I would also insist they foot the bill for your independant structural engineer

PLAY HARDBALL with them they can afford anything you demand that is certain
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:16 pm

Following our meeting with the architect and developers we are waiting for them to come back to us with revised plans about how to deal with the overlooking situation over the west boundary wall and also where they intend to attach the extension (ie a covered parking area) 60cm from our sycamore tree that's damaging the wall. We made it very clear that we were very unhappy with that. Even more so when we realized that, as in planning to build one of the parking area walls up against the north wall, it will extend right over the top of it rather than half way over. The architect explained it was necessary because of minimum width of car parking spaces regs and they need every centimetre of ground space they can get. So I guess they need to rely on the full width of top of the wall to properly support the structure. Would a party wall surveyor allow that please? Can we refuse permission or would it be pointless?

I checked through the Heritage & Design statement before they arrived and noticed that under "Supporting Documents" they said they had submitted a structural engineers report on our tree. (There is no mention of that in the Arborculturalist's report.) It's not with the plans on the Planning Portal so I spoke to the planners who said there wasn't one in the file. I told the developers this and they confirmed one hadn't been submitted. My conclusion is they have had one done but it isn't favourable to them. When they come back I will ask for a copy!

They already knew that we intend to dissent from the Party Wall notices but asked if we couldn't agree the works between ourselves and have a legal document drawn up to that effect. He said if we dissented it would cost them of thousands of pounds but surely it wouldn't be so expensive? We have agreed nothing!

Thanks in advance. Annie
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby arborlad » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:34 pm

annie08 wrote: Even more so when we realized that, as in planning to build one of the parking area walls up against the north wall, it will extend right over the top of it rather than half way over. The architect explained it was necessary because of minimum width of car parking spaces regs and they need every centimetre of ground space they can get.



That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, the edge of the wall would determine that, not what goes on top of it.




So I guess they need to rely on the full width of top of the wall to properly support the structure.



..........again, not a whole lot of sense, the centre of the wall is where the best support is.





despair wrote:INSIST-GOOD-PLAY-HARDBALL



Please stop shouting!!
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:49 pm

Thanks arborlad. We have now enlarged the plan and can see more detail. It seems they don't intend to build a wall adjacent to the boundary wall but instead build the gable end of the extension on top of it. Sorry for giving misinformation. We are not used to looking at housing plans. That must be to gain space on the ground for the parking spaces. Do they need our permission to use the whole width of the wall to build on? Could a PW surveyor say we have to let them?
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby despair » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:36 pm

Annie

Do not be bamboozled by these developers

So tough if doing things correctly costs them thousands

anything else will work in their favour and not yours

Heed every word i have said ............developers are nothing short of a greedy bunch of Bas****s who will stop at nothing to get their way and it will be you who suffers financially if you do not insist on doing things correctly
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:48 pm

Many thanks despair. We are happy to see the land developed but will do everything to protect our interests. It seems absolute madness to us to want to build a gable end on top of the compromised wall. The tree is pushing two walls out as the tree is right in the corner of our garden. The design statement says they have submitted a structural engineers report re our tree but the planners say they have not got it and the developer admitted they had not sent it. Annie.
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby arborlad » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:42 pm

annie08 wrote: Do they need our permission to use the whole width of the wall to build on? Could a PW surveyor say we have to let them?



You own to the centre of the wall, as does your neighbour, anything placed or erected beyond the centre would be a trespass and would require your permission. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it could be that something more visually appealing could be erected if you give your permission.
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby jonahinoz » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:35 am

arborlad wrote: It seems they don't intend to build a wall adjacent to the boundary wall but instead build the gable end of the extension on top of it.


Hi,

Are you saying that they intend to build a house wall on top of stone wall?

An ancient field wall is unlikely to have any foundations, and a barn will have only shallow foundations. My understanding is that a dry-stone wall has no measurable/calculable structural strength. ???

Could it be that once the plans are approved, they will have overcome any official resistance to what they want to do, will have the BCO insisting that they do "something" about the structural strength of the supporting wall, leaving only you left to resist them? From what I have been told on this forum (which I may have misunderstood), the PWA allows them to excavate under your ground.

John W
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