Can my Neighbour Excavate and Build New Foundations on My Land With the Wall on His?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I am an adjoining owner.  I run a car garage repair workshop from my premises.

My neighbour wishes to demolish an external wall which is on his land but abuts my boundary. The existing wall is some 6m high is part garden wall and part external wall of his buildings.

He is going to rebuild the wall, still on his land. The wall will form the external wall of new houses.

My properties are not within 3 m of the wall. I have a storage courtyard adjacent to the boundary.

  • Can he excavate and build the new foundations on my land with the wall on his?
  • Is he allowed access over my land to build the wall? If so this will prevent me from storing four vehicles? If so do I get compensation?
  • Is he allowed scaffold on my land?

At one point there is also a single roller shutter connected to the wall he is going to demolish and rebuild.

Answer

The excavation work would not be notifiable unless you have a structure within 3 metres. If your storage courtyard is a solid structure (bricks or blocks on foundations) then it will be classed as a structure. If the new wall is to be built up to the boundary but on his land it is also notifiable under Section 1 of the Act.

Foundations can project over the boundary on to your land if the Building Owner can show that it is necessary – it would not normally be necessary as most walls can be built on the edge of a wider foundation.

Right of access to an Adjoining Owner’s property is given if it is necessary to carry out work that is in pursuance of the Act i.e. the notifiable works.
There is always debate amongst surveyor as to whether access should be granted for new walls on the boundary but the prevailing view seems to be that it should.

If the access affects the running of your business then compensation may be justifiable but that would be for the appointed surveyors to judge.

Follow-up

Some of my courtyard is concrete over hardcore etc and some is just tarmac over hardcore etc.  Is this classed as a structure?

If not it would seem that as he is demolishing and rebuilding a wall wholly on his land and that he can make the foundations work on his land only, it is not notifiable. Therefore the Act is not coming in to it and a surveyor is not required.  Does he still have right of access?

Answer

Neither of those would constitute a structure. Even though the wall is being built on his own land it is notifiable if it is up to the line of junction (see section 1(5) of the Act).

You could therefore dissent to the notice and appoint a surveyor. As the new wall is covered by the Act he could claim that access is required and the surveyors would have to judge whether it was necessary.

Follow-up

Sorry to be a pain, but the surveyor is saying that he cannot issue a Line of Junction notice as the wall already exists as an external wall to my neighbours building. as section 1b of the act states (not being …. the external wall of a building.)