Can my Neighbour Demolish a Wall that is on My Land and Destroy our Planter?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

Our neighbours have served a notice on us stating their intention to build a kitchen extension up to the boundary line between our properties. Within our side of the boundary is a brick garden wall about 12ft long, the rest being wooden fencing, which lies on the boundary along the remaining  length of the garden.  On our side of the wall and fence is an established border with mature plants and fruit trees.  Our neighbour informs us that the brick wall will have to be demolished, the wooden fence taken down, and the border removed and paved as we would not be allowed to breach the new damp proof course to his extension.

We just want to know whether (a) he has the right to destroy our brick wall, and (b) has the right to tell us that we can no longer have a planted border as it would breach his damp proof course?  We don’t really object to the extension, but we do object to our garden being destroyed. 

Answer 

If the wall is on your land (as you say below) your neighbours do not have the right to remove it. The Party Wall Act gives them the right to underpin it if that is necessary to keep it stable during the works. 

If your wall remains the question in respect of bridging the damp-proof course does not arise.   

If you allowed your wall to be removed (to be neighbourly) that would be as part of an overall agreement to reinstate your planter in a way that did not bridge the damp-proof course e.g. with a low level wall to the rear of the planter and either a gap or some gravel fill behind that. All of the necessary work, including incidental costs such as potting up and reinstating plants as necessary, would be at your neighbours’ expense. The exact details would be agreed either between the owners or the appointed surveyor(s) should you choose to dissent to the notice.