Is a 100mm Freestanding Wall Without any Supporting Piers Classed as a Building or a Structure?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I have planning permission for a detached double garage that will be located behind our detached house. The new building will be 13 metres from the rear of our house and approximately 9 metres from the rear of our neighbour’s house. My neighbour has asked when he will be receiving a party wall notice.

He has a garden wall rather than fence to mark the boundary between the properties. Conveyancing documents show this to be the side that he is responsible for and I would therefore assume the wall to be wholly on his property and therefore not constitute a party fence wall.

As this is only a garden wall I am also assuming that it is not covered as a building or structure under the adjacent excavation rules of the act.

Can you please advise as to whether a 100mm freestanding garden wall without any supporting piers would class as a building or structure ?

Answer

Is the wall really just 100mm (4 inches) high? That would be just 1 course of bricks and is unlikely to have any foundations. The Act does not specify what constitutes a ‘structure’ in Section 6 (the Section that deals with excavations) but it is normally taken to mean a solid wall (brick or blocks) on a foundation.

If the wall is higher, say 1 metre, then it will be a structure and you should serve notice if you are excavating within 3 metres of it and deeper than the base of its foundations.