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How far does a neighbours extension have to be from the boundary before it isn't not a party wall?

(22 Posts)
TimeToMoveOnUp Sat 08-Apr-17 15:21:05

Neighbour building an extension, will loose light & our view but doesn't require planning permission and it's their land/life.
I know if it's built on the boundary it requires us to agree to a party wall thing, we have to hvae plans and sign that we agree.

If they build 2cm inside boundary line does it not count as a boundary wall? Or is there a cut off where we don't have to agree? Google has not been that helpful.

Supermagicsmile Sat 08-Apr-17 19:43:09

We are in the same situation and would love to know too!

TimeToMoveOnUp Sun 09-Apr-17 12:39:47

If you find out please let me know. Maybe I would have to contact planning, or is it building regulations at the council?

FrozenYogurt Sun 09-Apr-17 14:01:51

This should explain things for you.

superram Sun 09-Apr-17 14:05:42

If they are digging within 3 metres you need to sign a party wall agreement. You can appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf-they have to pay. You cannot stop the work. Go round and discuss it-if you agree without surveyors it will save them money and perhaps save you hassle.

Toomanycats99 Sun 09-Apr-17 14:19:27

We did a loft conversion and it didn't need planning as it was permitted development. However it would still have to meet the permitted development guidelines and I believe could be torn down if it contravenes them.

Jaxhog Sun 09-Apr-17 17:44:26

Thanks frozen, that makes it clearer.

Bottom line though, if you're building anything that is near a boundary or might affect your neighbour, for goodness sake talk to them first! They may suggest a minor change that has little impact on your development, but a massive improvement for them. If nothing else, it makes them much less likely to complain.

Jaxhog Sun 09-Apr-17 17:46:25

PS. you have no right to a view in law, and only a right to light under certain conditions. Annoying, but there you are.

TimeToMoveOnUp Sun 09-Apr-17 23:21:51

Thanks frozen will have a read.
Jaxhog we guessed that. We are sad we are loosing our view, it lifts my spirits so much each day, and the light, but know there is nothing we can do about it so just have to accept it and make the best of it, like I said they can do what they want.

That's interesting about the 3m from the boundary thing. It is going to be right up to the boundary and we haven't been asked to agree to anything. Know it doesn't need planning permission since the laws have changed.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 09-Apr-17 23:25:40

Is it double or single storey? (nosy)

TimeToMoveOnUp Mon 10-Apr-17 17:00:03

@superram do you have a website or reference for the needing party wall agreement within 3m?
curlyhairedassassin single story only, up to the upstairs window.

mrpartywall01 Sat 15-Apr-17 01:05:06

The actual line of junction is infinitesimally thin but in practical terms the line of junction is considered the width of a goal line by surveyors, thus a section one notice would be served if building a new wall within 4cm of the actual line of junction.
This is the common consensus among surveyors.
Serving a section one notice give a building owner rights of access to an adjoining owner's land for the building of the new wall. For scaffolding etc. Having access will mean the wall will look nicer to look at.

The section 6 notice, notice of excavation has to be served if excavating within 3 metres of your structure/building (not within 3 metres of the boundary) and the new foundation is going to a lower depth than your foundation.

It is the section 6 works that put other properties at most risk.

Many architects will specify a symmetric foundation when an eccentric or cantilever foundation should be used. Builders generally want to excavate the trench in one go when in some cases should be in a hit and miss fashion to protect the adjoining property.

As long as a homeowner knows what to look for, that they can check if the type of foundation is the best and that they know the excavation will be carried out in a way to offer maximum protection to the adjoining owner, then to consent to a notice is fine. Make sure you take lots of pics for future reference if consenting.

TimeToMoveOnUp Mon 17-Apr-17 17:49:18

Thanks *mrpartywall" will have a look at your website. The fence is on our land and the boundary the other side of the fence in their land. They had always told us the fence was in their land and theirs, but found that out that it's in our land recently.
So if they build up to the boundary line their side of the fence, they have a right to remove our fence for access if they serve us a party wall notice?
All we've had is that its happening, I guess this week sometime and when we asked for measurements/plans they didn't have any to give us.

mrpartywall01 Tue 18-Apr-17 01:19:48

If the fence marks the line of junction, by serving a section 1(5) notice they are allowed to build up to the boundary line.
So the fence would be removed and there would be a wall there instead.
After giving 14 days notice in accordance with section 8 of the act, they would have full rights of access for building the new wall, this would include scaffolding on your land.
If the fence and fence posts are wholly on your land, and it is possible for the new wall to be built without moving your fence, then the fence can stay in place. I would say though, if the builder builds the wall from the building owner's side of the boundary, he would need to use an overhand technique to lay the bricks and the finished wall would look ugly from your side, this can devalue your property. From both parties perspective, it is best to allow access.

If you send me the neighbour's address on an e-mail to or from the contact page below and I'll see if I can find any plans online.
I find more than half of all architects design the foundation with a symmetric foundation, thus about 150mm of concrete would be going under your land. The act does allow this if it is "necessary" but I've never seen a case where it is "necessary", a different type of foundation can be designed instead.
If a foundation is put under your land it is likely to be a trespass. If the neighbour is building up to the line of junction the eaves of the roof could also be a trespass.

Are they excavating within 3 metres of any structure? If so this is a higher risk to your property and a section 6 notice should be served.
I've never needed to take out an injunction to force someone to serve the legally required notices but the threat of it has been needed a few times - this is normally enough to bring a naughty building owner into line.

Supermagicsmile Tue 18-Apr-17 03:55:10

Mr Party Wall.. what if a neighbor just flat out refuses? because they're mean and don't like you.

mrpartywall01 Fri 21-Apr-17 21:47:04

The neighbour can not refuse.
If rights of access are given under section 8 of the act then it is an offence to obstruct.
If they refuse, the police are called and they can be charged.
Each time they refuse entry they can be convicted and be given a fine of up to £1000. That's each and every time.
Have a read of section 16 of the party wall act

8(2) of the act is always good for a naughty neighbour to know and understand, pasted below.
'If the premises are closed, the building owner, his agents and workmen may, if accompanied by a constable or other police officer, break open any fences or doors in order to enter the premises.'

In short, as soon as an adjoining owner understands the rights of the building owner, there tends to be no problems.
The party wall act is to protect the adjoining owner's structure but also enables the adjoining owner to build.

TimeToMoveOnUp Sat 22-Apr-17 08:44:01

There are no plans to find as it is covered as a conservatory, but the wall going along our fence is solid brick. The fence is entirely on our land, a few centimetres within the boundary. We were always told that the edge of the fence our side of the garden was the boundary and their fence. So fence is either theirs and needs to be moved back 8 inches into their garden their side of the boundary or it's now ours as is wholly on our land.
We have checked with building regulations as they were going to build along the fence and build too close to our boiler flue, which they need to build 60cm away from.

TimeToMoveOnUp Sat 22-Apr-17 08:45:37

So I'm guessing if they want to remove our fence to build they have to pay to rebuild it? And I can get them to either put it on their land if it's theirs, or if it's ours on our land, turn it around so we get the extra few inches from the post side?

mrpartywall01 Sat 22-Apr-17 10:00:06

If the fence is wholly on your land then the fence will just stay where it is. If it is disturbed during the works, it will need to go back in the same place when they are finished.

If the fence forms the boundary then the new wall will go in its place. There would be no need to replace a fence at the side of a wall.
It is normally the case that the fence will start where their wall ends, and just continue down the garden.

It sounds like they have to serve you a section one notice,
without the address I can't check on street view but if it's within 3 metres of your building you most probably need to be served a section 6 notice - this must be served with plans and sections to make it valid under 6(6) of the act.
You will then have a choice, to consent to the notice, or dissent.

If you consent, there is no surveyor involvement.
If you dissent, there is - a schedule of condition would be performed. Rights of access including their permitted working hours.
Method statements from their builder and PI insurance are required.
Foundation design needs to minimise the risk to your property, ensuring no concrete is going under your land and how the excavation will be executed.
If damage occurs surveyors award the damages.
The first step it to get the neighbour to serve notice, then make a choice.

wonkylegs Sat 22-Apr-17 11:36:41

The problem with all of this legislation is that if your neighbour fails to serve the notice or you have problems it is a civil offence not a criminal one so you will need to take them to court for redress which can be costly.

It may be that they genuinely don't know they need to serve the notice, perhaps get the guide & notices from here and go and have a chat with them and see where the land lies.

QuinionsRainbow Sat 22-Apr-17 12:28:43

If they are digging within 3 metres you need to sign a party wall agreement.
I'm probably wrong, in which case just ignore me, but I was under the impression that this only applies if they are digging within 3 metres of your buildings, not just your boundary line. It's to do with undermining foundations etc. We had this with neighbours building a house on the plot next to us. They hadn't a clue, and nor apparently did their solicitor, that as their kitchen door would be about three feet from our detached garage, they might have to dig a bit carefully, and take responsibility for any damage to our property, when they were excavating their foundations. As it as, we had to have a go at them when their builders erected scaffolding actually touching the glass of the garage window!

TimeToMoveOnUp Sat 22-Apr-17 15:25:25

We are a flat backed terrace and it's "only" a brick sided glass fronted conservatory so they are building out from their back wall so within 3m of both original properties. Council said the same that it's a civil matter which is fair enough. You would have thought their company (double glazing one originally) would have pointed out that they can't build next to our flue as they are having to remove theirs for the same reason. I will add a diagram when I get round to it sorry. Thanks again for the help.
Has asked for plans so could see where wall was going and it was just a sketch we were given, no measurements etc. They didn't tell us when they found out the fence wasn't theirs but hours either. The boundary is completely the other side of the fence to us.

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