Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby CockneyViking » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:36 am

My neighbour has an extension and drilled a hole in the extension wall to feed an electric cable out of the extension, round the side of the extension and back in to his garden. This breaks several electrical wiring regulations as outside electrical cable must be protected from mechanical damage by burying them 18" underground covering them with ducting. Several cables are exposed. Wooden fencing has been used to conceal the cable so anyone putting a nail in the fence could get a big surprise and as far as I am aware there is no provision for contraction of 80 feet of cable. So there are at least four breaches of the safety regulations.

At the time this was done, I protested to the neighbour about it and had to raise my voice after he started to shout abuse. As a result, the police came gave me a harassment warning. :(

I have complained to the Council and the NICEIC to find:

* My local council wishes to rely on the fact it has a certificate from a "competent" person even if there is compelling photographic evidence showing the regulations have been contravened :shock:
* The competent person (aka electrician) would have to come on my side of the fence to inspect the wiring prior to certification and this was never done. The "competent" electrical contractor left others to complete the work (e.g. Burying the cable, covering with fencing etc). Now the NICEIC, the regulatory body claims as its "certified" member did not complete the work - and his certificate is valid even though it was signed several months after ALL the work was complete. :shock:
* I have written the Dept of Communities and Local Government which has told me it is perfectly legitimate for a competent person not to inspect electrical work before certifying it. It cannot become involved in individual cases and the matter should be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman. But although a Council has the power to enforce regulations, it does not have to do so even if work is unsafe. :shock:

I am astonished by the actions of the police, the Council and the NICEIC.

I do not want my neighbours wiring in my garden or on my side of the fence if it does not conform to electrical safety regulations. What can I or should I do? If I apply for any kind of court order, I am not sure it would succeed - what is worse - I cannot find an NICEIC electrician willing to testify. So I have to look elsewhere for an expert.
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:11 pm

Hi CV,

What can I or should I do?

Seek an injunction to remedy the trespass.
Forget about pursuing the 'safety' issue.
Stick to the 'trespass' issue.

I assume you own the property he's trespassing over?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby CockneyViking » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:56 pm

Can I really allege trespass as this has not caused any provable damage?

Also what is to stop the neighbour saying it is on his property on the basis:

a). He moved the fence back so it is on his property; or
b). It is inside the 100 mm strip of land he owns beside the extension and beyond; or
c). the cable is my side of the post but also under the bottom board so it is on his side
d). In some cases an electric main is fed to a house over someone else's land, same with phone cables.

I will try and get some photos up to show the situation. I would have thought I need good reasons to deny permission for the cables to be on my side, not conforming to safety regs is quite a good one. Plus I do not want to appear churlish.
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:14 am

Hi CV,

I agree with nothingtodowithme.

your latest description is at odds with your opening posting (and your choice of title for the thread).

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby Clifford Pope » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:02 pm

I don't think a proper armoured cable for exterior use has to be buried.
If it's on his side of the boundary he can do what he likes.
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:08 pm

Clifford Pope wrote:I don't think a proper armoured cable for exterior use has to be buried.
If it's on his side of the boundary he can do what he likes.

Hi Clifford,

I think you're right.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby CockneyViking » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:19 pm

I wish I had been able to post the photos. What I can say for sure is the cable is definitely on my side of the fence in two places which are:

* A cable running across the top of the ground on my side of a fence post and is an accident waiting to happen with any garden tool used near it. Definitely in breach of regs which state cables should be 18" underground or in ducting. Even though the cable is on my side of the post, it is also a few inches underneath the board that runs along the bottom of the fence.
* Another cable is effectively attached to my side of the fence, then it runs through hole back into my neighbours garden.

hopefully I can post photos when I have three posts.
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby CockneyViking » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:21 pm

I should add the cable is armoured. I have seems posts where people have penetrated armoured, so it is not impenetrable.
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby mugwump » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:20 am

Clifford Pope wrote:I don't think a proper armoured cable for exterior use has to be buried.
If it's on his side of the boundary he can do what he likes.
Armoured cable does not have to be buried provided that it is in a position that is not liable to be disturbed and is marked. However IF it is buried then the guidance is that it should be 18 inches deep and overlayed with marker tape in the trench.

I would say that fixed to a fence and being visible fits the bill quite nicely
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby Sudynim » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:09 pm

CockneyViking wrote:I should add the cable is armoured. I have seems posts where people have penetrated armoured, so it is not impenetrable.


Armoured cable is very tough, and suitable for this sort of purpose. You do not have any reason to be concerned. If, as you say above, you do not want to appear churlish, then I think you should let this matter rest. Your eagerness to cause trouble for this neighbour comes over as vindictive.

I do not say that with any intention to hurt or offend you, I'm simply telling you how it appears to a bystander view.
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby CockneyViking » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:32 pm

Who says armoured cable is tough? The link below states armoured cable was penetrated by a spade and it is not the first post OI have come across where armoured cable has been penetrated.
http://www.electriciansforums.co.uk/ele ... cable.html

The regulations regarding external electrical wiring state cables should be buried or put in ducting. They make no exception even for armoured cable.
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:20 am

Hi CV,

What I can say for sure is the cable is definitely on my side of the fence

Then, as has already been suggested, you can take action to remedy this trespass.

Kind regards, Mac
PS it is obvious there is some confusion about whether cables must be buried - can you please post a link to the regs you have been referencing?
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby mugwump » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:23 am

It may be on the OPs side of the fence but I don't think we have yet ascertained whether the fence is wholly on the neighbour's side of the boundary.

Can I really allege trespass as this has not caused any provable damage?

Also what is to stop the neighbour saying it is on his property on the basis:

a). He moved the fence back so it is on his property; or
b). It is inside the 100 mm strip of land he owns beside the extension and beyond; or
c). the cable is my side of the post but also under the bottom board so it is on his side
seems to suggest that it is all on the neighbour's property.
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:57 am

Hi CV,

hopefully I can post photos when I have three posts

in light of the last two postings - one by mugwump and one by me - I think a photo would be of benefit.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour's Electric Cable on My Garden

Postby CockneyViking » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:05 pm

Photo
See photo attached, shows cable which could easily be damaged by garden implement

Cable Location
Although the cable is on my side of the fence, it is almost certainly on my neighbour's property. ( If anyone thinks a fence is the boundary, it can be just inside a boundary or on it.) In this case, the neighbour owns a 4" strip of land adjacent to his extension which runs down the edge of my patio behind my house. There had previously been a fence with 4" posts adjacent to the patio, the new fence has 2" posts which means the cable is most likely just inside his boundary so trespass is unlikely. (I have only just worked this out.)

Regulatory Side
Solicitor has suggested I pursue this line. Getting a copy of the regulations is proving difficult but I am getting there slowly. The cable in photograph was in fact buried 2-3" underground until I removed building debris lying on top of it. The regulations are set out in BS7671 and the guidelines to it. I can say:

1. According to the regulations and guidelines, if the cable was supposed to be buried it should have been 500 mm deep with a yellow marker tape saying something like "Danger - electricity " at 150 mm deep.
2. If the cable was supposed to be above ground, it should have been sufficiently above not to be buried. Because it is the concealed cable

All this is supposed to be regulated by the NICEIC under a certified competent person scheme in conjunction with my local Council. At the moment, I am trying to get the Council to reject the certificate on the basis the work does not comply with the regulations - and it probably not safe under Part P of the Buildings Act.

At the moment , the Council is in a position where it should surely realise the work does not comply with regulations - but the problem is it has a signed certificate which it is supposed to accept as evidence of compliance. A bit of a dilemma?
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