Access for Building

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CeeBee1
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:58 pm

Access for Building

Post by CeeBee1 » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:13 am

There is a derelict industrial building on one side of my garden. Planning permission has been granted for much higher (9metres) new build to replace it. The wall is exactly on the boundary of my garden. The current building is to be demolished and the new one built. I am no building expert but it seems to me that they will need access to my garden both for demolition and building. One of the planning permission conditions concerns the roots of a mature ash tree in my garden.

Can anybody advise on the implications of refusing access to my garden? Is it possible to build a 3 storey building from one side? Can I impose conditions? I am not deliberatly trying to be difficult but this follows a saga of objection and my view that the BRE and new developments SPG have been completely disregarded.
Any advice would be really welcome

Celia

kandy
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Post by kandy » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:16 am

As always you really need expert advice, my best guesses to get the ball rolling:

Demolition:- Yes I expect that they could demolish from their side only, if not, they could probably 'arrange' to leave it in a dangerous condition and justify that to get access.

New build:- No way that I am aware of that they can force access. It is possible to lay brick/block walls from one side only, the side effect being that the 9m wall facing you will look a right mess! It is also possible to lift in preconstructed sections (possible additional cost though!).

You may wish to investigate to see if the Party Wall Act applies in this case. Regardless, if the developer wants access you are perfectly entitled to draw up a contract of terms/conditions and try for a payment/bond for inconvenience/potential damage. Depends how much time/money access will save them as to what you my get.

There are health and safety and trespass implications with violating neighbouring AIRSPACE whilst building so this may be of interest : http://www.crippslaw.com/publications/c ... n_0203.pdf

Conveyancer
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Post by Conveyancer » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:22 am

Unless there is something on your title to indicate that there is a right to go on your land to construct new buildings, there is no right to go on your land and it must be negotiated.

If you are prepared to negotiate a right you should have a document drawn up by your solicitor at the builder's expense. The document should provide for a security deposit and for any dispute to be decided by an independent third party.
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danensis
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Post by danensis » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:47 pm

Depending on your subsoil you may also want to get some monitoring in place, as the demolition and construction of a building of that size may result in heave or subsidence.

CeeBee1
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Post by CeeBee1 » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:28 pm

Thank you so much for your replies. I have now spoken to the construction company - coincidentally just after posting a polite letter to the financers and architects. It seems a party wall award will be sought, which puzzles me a bit? They also told me that they would erect a hoarding on my property, with permission. I have said that I want a full discussion about access, restitution, security etc. BEFORE I allow anyone on my property.
As advised on here, the wall will be even more ugly if I don't allow them to finish it off so I am not going to dig my heels in but I do intend to safeguard my interests. The thought of heave didn't occur to me.
I think I need to find a professional adviser, but what sort? My late husband was a Chartered Surveyor but I don't recall him working on any party wall awards that involved just a building and a garden.
Life is never easy, is it! :?

Celia

danensis
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Post by danensis » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:55 pm

As I recall from the Party Wall web site either theother party can employ a surveyor and you can accept that surveyor, or you can both employ a surveoyr, and they have to pay for yours, and if the two surveyors disagree you can agree to employ a third surveyor to mediate, and again the other party have to pay for this.

To check for heave and subsidence you really need a structural engineer.

andrew54
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Post by andrew54 » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:22 pm

CeeBee1 wrote: It seems a party wall award will be sought, which puzzles me a bit?
There are a few possible reasons why they should use the Party Wall Act.

If the face of the wall if on the boundary then the foundations will probable go under your land a few inches. Their new foundations are likely to be deeper than your house foundations, and might be closer than 3 metres to your house. These are likely reasons for using the PWA. Even beyond 3 metres from your house the PWA applies if their foundations are deep enough.

Jeds
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Post by Jeds » Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:14 am

I would advise consulting with a chartered building surveyor who has experience of the party wall act. You should be able to find a local one from the RICS 'find a surveyor' website.

The first thing to establish is if the boundary wall is actually a party wall? The party wall act can not apply if it is not.

Secondly, do they propose building astride the boundary or within 3 metres (6 metres in some circumstances) of your building?

These are important questions because the act gives them, and you, certain rights. If these do not apply the act does not apply and it then just comes down to negotiation.
John

andrew54
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Post by andrew54 » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:26 pm

Jeds wrote: The first thing to establish is if the boundary wall is actually a party wall? The party wall act can not apply if it is not.
I'm sorry Jeds, but I don't think that is true. If the neighbour wants to build a non-part-wall on his own land then the PWA will still apply IF the foundations go under ceebee1's land, or if the neighbour's new foundations are deeper than ceebee1's foundations and within 3 metres of.

Jeds
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Location: Bristol

Post by Jeds » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:02 pm

The act cannot be applied to non-party walls and therefore demolition of the existing wall will not be included in any award.

It may apply to the new wall if it is built astride the boundary or within 3m or 6m etc. - thus my third paragraph. But the award for this will still not include anything to do with the existing wall if it is not a party wall.
John

kandy
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Post by kandy » Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:51 pm

It's not entirely clear from the original post where the existing structure(s) sit(s). If existing wall(s) is/are on (i.e. astride rather than just foundations on adjoinging land) I believe the PWA would apply to demolition.

Regardless, the PWA may provide an acceptable framework for both parties to work with (even if it doesn't strictly apply).

If it does apply to the new building but not the demolition, there is still nothing to prevent the award including references to the demolition work by mutual agreement is there? Since one cannot be achieved without the other?

Jeds
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Post by Jeds » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:29 pm

If the wall is a party wall then demolishing it will definitely come under the PWA - but if it is not it won't.
John

CeeBee1
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Post by CeeBee1 » Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:21 pm

It is 100% the industrial building's wall, sitting at the very edge of their land, not astride the boundary but on their side of the boundary. As such, it is the boundary of my garden.
I have now found a local firm of Chartered Surveyors to advise me (through a banner advert on here) and will not do anything until an access agreement is drawn up -including a statement that they will pay my costs, restore and we agree financial compesation for the loss of probably 50% of my garden for some months. The PWA will have to happen too. These are property developers and it is a commercial building, so the profit motive is key to them. My enjoyment of my home and garden is paramount to me and not given over lightly (or cheaply)
Thank you all so very, very much for your help
Celia

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