Can My Neighbour Stop Our Work?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

We have replaced a garden wall in building a small extension that didn’t come under requirement for planning permission although we sought and received consent from the local authority.  The wall is on the side of an alley to which we have shared access rights and is directly in line with our property.  A neighbour with a property adjacent to the alley (on the opposite side of it)  has said that we have acted illegally in not informing him because the alley is his property (shared ownership in his lease?) and we have built up to the boundary line of his property.  Please can you clarify if we were obliged to serve notice to him if this is our shared alley (five gates lead onto it and I was under the impression it was council owned).  Can they stop our work?  If so to what extent, the extension is finished aside from windows but we would like to install our kitchen – can we do this?  Can we lay our internal floor?

Answer

It would depend upon ownership of the alley. If it is owned, or part owned, by your neighbour then building on the line of junction would have required notice under Section 1 of the Party Wall Act. If the wall is built then the time for serving notice has now passed and there are no penalties under the Act for failing to serve notice. As it was only the new wall that would have been notifiable then there is no reason to delay completing the works that you mention.

Follow-up

Thank you very much for your clear and prompt reply.