I am Aware that we Need a Party Wall Agreement with our Neighbour but do not fully understand the Process. If he refuses to Sign can we continue the Build without his Agreement?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

We currently live in a three bedroom semi and have adjoining drives with a neighbour. We are considering building an extension on our drive and have mentioned this to our neighbour. (who we do get on with as a rule). Upon explaining the plan he stated to us that he intended to object. Upon speaking to our architect he feels that his objections would not be succesful. I am aware that we need a party wall agreement with our neighbour but do not fully understand this process.
 
I believe that this agreement has to be issued and agreed and must include such details as proposed starts dates for the project etc. These obviously cannot be given until after the planning permission has been granted. I am obviously concerned that due to his objections he will not sign the agreement and therefore we would have paid for architects , planning permision etc.
 
If he refuses to sign and will not agree to this under any form of arbitration is he going to be able to stop the project moving forward, or is there any way we can continue the build without this agreement?

Answer

The purpose of the Party Wall Act is to enable development so your neighbour will not be able to use it to stop your building work.

Assuming that he dissents to your notice he will have to appoint a surveyor – should he fail to do that after a further reminder you can do it on his behalf. You must also appoint a surveyor and the 2 surveyors will agree an award. You neighbour does not sign the award; only the surveyors do that.

Where a neighbour is uncooperative it is very important that procedures are followed to the letter as any mistakes would mean you having to start over.