Replacement of wall with a fence

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GeoffGR
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Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:59 pm

Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by GeoffGR »

Our house backs onto a school, a brick wall in between. We have lived in the house for 15 years; the school has existed for over 100 years and the wall clearly belongs to the school, ie the local council. (Our title deeds do not indicate ownership.) The school is reducing the level of the ground on its side of the wall and the contractors have said that this will destabilize the wall which therefore needs to be replaced. For cost reasons the council wants to replace the wall with a fence. We want to retain a wall for reasons of appearance, security and noise. So far, our discussions have been with the headmaster who is most helpful but who has said my comments will be passed on to the council. What’s our legal position wrt wall vs fence?
Advice, please.
GeoffGR
despair
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by despair »

Assuming the schools ground level will then be same as yours it is likely to be hard to argue plus they may simply install chainlink fencing too

i would contact your local councillor and get them on side ref noise ,change of appearance e
,effect on your life and see if they can persuade powers that hold the purse strings at the council
GeoffGR
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Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:59 pm

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by GeoffGR »

The school playground is already lower than our garden level. The intention is to reduce the playground level even further. Which is why the wall has been identified as unstable.

Thanks,

GeoffGR
arborlad
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by arborlad »

GeoffGR wrote:The school playground is already lower than our garden level. The intention is to reduce the playground level even further. Which is why the wall has been identified as unstable.

Thanks,

GeoffGR

What is the height difference at present?

Have you raised your own land?

Have they indicated why they need to reduce the playground level?

Are there any other neighbours affected?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
despair
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by despair »

If the schools ground is lower than yours and they lower it further they cannot leave your land without support and theres no way on this earth that a fence will fulfil that requirement

they must install a properly constructed retaining wall
GeoffGR
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Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:59 pm

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by GeoffGR »

I estimate that the max height difference is 0.5m. We haven't raised the level of our land. The school is being extended which involves reducing the playground height. No other neighbours are affected.
I agree that it doesn't look as though a fence would hold the soil back. Hope that the council agrees!
Thanks for your help, everyone.
GeoffGR
despair
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by despair »

Any idiot in building control will know very well that a fence will rot in short order

the council legal team also know they cannot leave your land without support
check very carefully all insurances ,mortgages,union membership,credit cards for Legal Expenses Cover because you may need it
arborlad
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by arborlad »

GeoffGR wrote: For cost reasons the council wants to replace the wall with a fence. We want to retain a wall for reasons of appearance, security and noise.
GeoffGR

The most usual type of fence in this situation is steel palisade or feather edge, although a look at what is already there will give a clue to what the replacement is likely to be. The school don't appear to be doing anything wrong provided a suitably alternative retaining wall is provided. It's hard to see how the wall can remain without some form of underpinning and a buttress wall built, all of this will have to be done, on, and from, the school grounds, with costs borne by you.

Is there a possibility the wall might be listed?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
GeoffGR
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Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:59 pm

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by GeoffGR »

I think it unlikely that the wall would be listed. The bricks on the school side are in a pretty bad way.
Why should we bare the cost when it seems clear to me that it is the school's wall?
Thanks, everyone.
GeoffGR.
despair
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Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by despair »

I think what arborlad means is if you want to insist the existing wall remains you would need to bear the costs of re -inforcements
but the law remains that the school/council cannot leave your land wthout support if they decide to lower the land on their side

ergo they must build a properly constructed retaining wall not a stupid fence
andrew54
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Location: north yorkshire

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by andrew54 »

geoffGR, the school has a responsibility to support your land, but they have no responsibility at all to provide you with a wall or fence. They could just leave the boundary open.
arborlad
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by arborlad »

GeoffGR wrote:Why should we bare the cost when it seems clear to me that it is the school's wall?
Thanks, everyone.
GeoffGR.
Probably because of this:
We want to retain a wall for reasons of appearance, security and noise.

Leaving aside the school issue, your neighbours only obligation to you is not to leave your land unsupported, but it is a school, so there will be a fence there, possibly combined with a retaining structure. How aware is the school of the height difference?

If you are talking with contractors the works are probably far advanced and taking advantage of half-term to get major structural works done, part of which is the wall replacement, a cost for this element of the work will already have been established, the cost for retaining the wall will be considerably more, if you can negotiate between these costs you may get to save the wall.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
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Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by arborlad »

arborlad wrote:......... so there will be a fence there,.

Just to clarify, there will be something there, it is a school, so they wont be leaving part of their boundary unsecured.

I'm all for retaining the wall for all the reasons you state, plus, it's stood for a hundred years, so with the right treatment could stand another hundred.

It could be an acoustic fence, which will solve the noise issue.

Good luck.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
GeoffGR
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Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:59 pm

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by GeoffGR »

I've only been in touch with the headmaster who has been very helpful but non-committal. I wrote him a letter which noted the height difference and which he was to pass on to the council. The contractors are not working on that part of the building at the moment. Let us see what the next few weeks bring.

Thanks, everyone, for their help.
GeoffGR.
arborlad
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Replacement of wall with a fence

Post by arborlad »

Thanks for the update.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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