Our party wall surveyor Surrey team is often asked about how access might be granted for works falling under section 6 of the Act. If you are unfamiliar with party wall legislation, watch this video:
Party Wall Surveyor Surrey and the Act
Firstly, section 6 of the Act describes adjacent excavation and construction. It applies where a building owner excavates, or excavates for and erects a building or structure within 3 metres of an adjoining owner’s building. It also applied where any part of the excavation will extend to a lower level than the bottom of the adjoining owner’s building foundations. If the works meet these criteria, then a party wall matter arises.
A building belonging to an adjoining owner may be supported by piled foundations. These may stretche deep into the ground. There may also be adjacent structu
res, such as boundary walls, which have shallow foundations. Therefore, the relevant notice will require serving.
Rights of Access
Section 8(1) of the Act describes how a building owner, his workmen or any servants/agents may enter and remain on any land or premises. This is during normal working hours for the purpose of executing work relevant to the Act. They may also remove items, such as furniture. Any other necessary action may also be taken.
One question is often put forward to Prinsegate’s party wall surveyor Surrey team: do general access rights exist for a building owner and his team in relation to any buildings or structures erected? The answer lies within whether the work is in pursuance of the Act. In relation to excavation and adjacent construction, section 6(1) only applies to a building or structure which is below the level of the adjoining owner’s foundations. It must also be within the 3 metre horizontal distance or 6 metres and within the 45 degree angle plane measured from foundation to foundation. Therefore, if the works fall within section 6(1), access should be granted.
The above is a determiner for an adjoining owner in respect of whether he or she will consent to the notice. He or she may also require underpinning or strengthening of his or her foundations. Prinsegate’s Surrey team of party wall surveyors are careful when selecting the applicability of section 6(1) notices. We decide with great sensitivity as to whether such underpinning or strengthening of an adjoining owner’s foundations is required. Often, such work is sought only as a last resort, as it is an expensive and complicated activity.
Pyramus & Thisbe explain other factors in party wall matters: http://www.partywalls.org.uk/party_wall_faqs
Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team’s Conclusion
We have noted that access to an adjoining owner’s property must be used sparingly. Our party wall surveyor Surrey team has come across cases where builders take liberties often not granted by an award. This might include climbing up on neighbour’s roofs or placing rubbish on the neighbour’s land. We at Prinsegate are quick to respond to our appointing owner’s requests for quiet enjoyment of their homes. We strive to deal with such common problems in Surrey and Kingston as soon as practicably possible.