A new development, a local authority Welcome Centre was to be built next to the Adjoining Owner’s site comprising residential care home flats. Although there were no boundary structures the new development required foundations deeper than those of the flats.
Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors were instructed to act as Party Wall Surveyor for the proposed retrofit in a two storey terraced house in Becton. The works entailed the introduction of a mezzanine floor in the roof space, requiring supporting beams from the party walls and raising of the roof, a party structure between the adjoined properties.
A party fence wall between two owners had become unstable due to the construction and lack of foundations. The Building Owner had decided to take the wall down and re-construct. However, a detailed design and agreement on the reinstatement works was required beforehand. Following detailed investigations by East Thames, an engineer and Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors, a proposed scheme for repair was agreed.
Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors agreed a Party Wall Award with the Building Owner’s surveyor. Subsequently it was found that the Building Owner’s obligations had been breached. Unauthorised scaffold and building materials had been placed on the Adjoining Owner’s land and an access cut through a boundary wall from our client’s land.
As Adjoining Owner’s surveyor our concern was that our client’s property and the occupying staff were fully protected before commencement of a major demolition and new development project that also involved deep piling. Together with the Building Owner’s surveyor a detailed schedule of condition of all internal walls, external elevations and the roof within 6 metres of their building were completed.
The Building Owner contacted Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors as he had received a query from his neighbour that the foundations excavated for the Building Owner’s extension contravened the 3 metre rule under the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996. The Act states that is a footing is dug within 3 metres of an adjoining property and is lower than the existing footings of the adjoining property, the Act applies.
In spite of a Party Wall Award being agreed, significant variations of the building works occurred by the Building Owner. This included building on our Adjoining Owner’s land and assuming the tenants of the flat above the development could use the Adjoining Owner’s land for access as the original pathway had been destroyed.