Safe wall height?

Re: Safe wall height?

Postby arborlad » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:17 pm

annie08 wrote: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?




Is it possible that the roof will oversail the wall and be supported in some other way on their own land, and not actually attached to the wall?
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:56 pm

Thanks arborlad. I don't think that's an option as they need all the available ground space to provide two parking spaces and couldn't build any kind of support on it to hold up the roof. Annie
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:09 pm

Hi annie,

I don't think that's an option as they need all the available ground space to provide two parking spaces and couldn't build any kind of support on it to hold up the roof.

you have the plans - what do they show?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:20 pm

The plans show the original gable end of the historic barn and a roof extension to be fixed to it and extending over the width of two parking spaces with a new gable end built up on top of the joint boundary wall. There is a new back wall for the extension but it is open at the front. Hope that makes sense. Annie
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:56 pm

After telling the developers we were unhappy with their plan to attach a stone gable end of an extension to their barn to the top of the jointly owned wall at the back of our garden in order to provide cover for two parking spaces, they have come back with a new plan. They propose putting foundations in between the tree roots that are under their hard standing then inset two steel posts in the wall ( approx 14" thick from memory) which would support a timber gable end. Can anyone tell me if the PW Act provides for cutting into the wall? Thanks Annie
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby Collaborate » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:36 am

The Act covers:

new building on or at the boundary of 2 properties
work to an existing party wall or party structure
excavation near to and below the foundation level of neighbouring buildings
This may include:

building a new wall on or at the boundary of 2 properties
cutting into a party wall
making a party wall taller, shorter or deeper
removing chimney breasts from a party wall
knocking down and rebuilding a party wall
digging below the foundation level of a neighbour’s property


Taken from here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/party-wall- ... act-covers
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby arborlad » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:49 pm

annie08 wrote: Can anyone tell me if the PW Act provides for cutting into the wall? Thanks Annie




We probably can, but this is best answered by your own PW Surveyor who will have had sight of the wall in question - do you have your own surveyor?

You've called it a 'stone wall', this usually means a wall of natural stone with mortar joints, as opposed to a dry stone wall - no mortar, can you clarify.

Does the wall have a coping stone, it would be difficult to do any work to the wall without disturbing that, which may create issues.
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:25 pm

Thank you both. It's a stone wall with mortar. There is cement coping to the wall (40+ metres) which is all coming of and being replaced. Thinking about it we will probably have to consult a PW surveyor before the notices are served. We are waiting for the councils tree report being available to see if it finds the developers proposal re work around the tree acceptable. Our tree surgeon was here yesterday pruning our apple tree and says knowing the tree officer she is likely to say no. Here's hoping. This is only one of the issues we have with the developers although some of them look to be amicably resolved. If it is allowed we are considering asking them to indemnify us against both damage to the tree and damage to the extension.
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:32 pm

Because of time constraints (council's description) the Landscape Officer did not carry out a site visit. She made a desk based assessment that the intended work is acceptable based on the inaccurate tree survey submitted by the developer. He didn't come onto to our land to measure the tree, just estimated it as 500mm diameter and growing on lower ground than the hard standing of the farm which is untrue. It grows in a raised section of our garden (the soil depth is only 30cm's at most)and is on the same level as the hard standing. Our tree surgeon said it is bigger than estimated and is 600m so the RPA is greater. They intend to excavate under the boundary wall to put in foundations and have now submitted a method statement which once again notes our tree is on lower ground. We did tell the developers we would be happy for the surveyor to come and take accurate measurements but they have not responded. In addition his initial report ( which did not acknowledge or identify the significant cracking to our north and west walls made by it) did not mention the removal of five healthy branches would be needed to accommodate the extension roof. Can anyone tell me if he should have mentioned the need for removal. The planning application is to be heard on Tuesday. We intend to say the extension is not integral to the development as it is not a habitable room. We don't feel the construction of a car port justifies risk to the tree. Thanks. Annie.
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby Collaborate » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:34 pm

I take it you are aware that just because they obtain PP that doesn't mean that they can ignore the Party Wall Act?

They will still have to serve notice on you prior to commencing the works on or under the wall, and at their cost you can appoint your surveyor to protect your interests.

There's nothing you can do to stop them cutting back overhanging branches or encroaching roots.
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby annie08 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:48 pm

Thanks collaborate - yes I have read up on the PWA. Ahead of the planning committee meeting at which my husband has speaking rights I wanted to clarify whether the report should have mentioned the need to remove healthy branches. I have just checked his report though and although he didn't spell it out he said "Some slight deadwood to canopy. Will overhang proposed extension of building. Clean and monitor."

You seem to be saying if they get planning permission they can prune the overhanging bits? It's a TPO'd tree. Does that make any difference? Thanks
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Re: Safe wall height?

Postby Collaborate » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:00 pm

annie08 wrote:You seem to be saying if they get planning permission they can prune the overhanging bits? It's a TPO'd tree. Does that make any difference? Thanks


I doubt that would be the case. Would still need permission from the tree officer.
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