Can I Stop a New House From Being Built up Against Mine?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

My property was once part of a terraced street and is now the only remaining house. One side of the house had a cavity wall built up but the other side was left as a single leaf wall covered in cement render. My gas pipe and electric cable run along the wall.  

Planning permission has been granted to build a detached property right next to this single leaf wall which obviously means I cannot maintain it. Does any part of the party wall act protect me in any way. Can I apply for an injunction to stop the work proceeding. 

I am currently seeking advice from a solicitor however the land owner is not responding to any questions she has raised.

Answer

It depends on whether the proposed work comes within the scope of the Party Wall Act. The owner of the neighbouring land has a right to build right up to the boundary regardless of whether that prevents you from maintaining your wall but if the work is notifiable under the Act you will have the opportunity to appoint a surveyor and that surveyor will look at how your wall can be protected during the works and in the longer term. That may mean that the gap between the properties is sealed to the elements.  

What would make the work notifiable is if they were building on the line of junction or were excavating below the depth of your foundations. The later is likely as a single skin wall is unlikely to have very deep foundations. Should they attempt to commence any notifiable work without serving notice then you could go to court and get an injunction.