Will The Party Wall Act Protect My Light?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I live in a mid terraced house and my neighbours want to replace the fence between our houses with a party wall.  The wall would be higher than the present fence (a foot or so) and there would be a conservatory coming off it.  The conservatory is small enough to escape planning permission.  However, I want to object to the wall due to it, and the conservatory blocking light, should they be built.

The Party Wall Act doesnt seem to mention this – I simply don’t want any wall which is higher than the present fence.  If I object, can surveyors force me to have a wall that would block my light?  They are only small terraced Victorian cottages and this wall would be very close to my kitchen door and window.

Answer

The Party Wall Act is to protect neighbouring structures rather than any rights or easements they may have – such as a right to light. In fact Section 9 of the Act specifically excludes rights of light.

If your light will be severely affected then you may have a claim but that is not something that I could advise you on – I recommend that you speak to an experienced right to light surveyor. The RICS list some on the website.