Many projects involve work under the Party Wall Etc Act 1996 and it is the responsibility of the Client, or Building Owners as they are referred to under the Act, to ensure that they comply with the obligations placed upon them by the Act before carrying out any notifiable work.
As engineers we often find building owners unaware of their responsibilities in law and ill informed of the need to progress Party Wall Awards early to ensure a smooth flow of work on site. Awards can take many months to get in place and must be agreed before work commences.
Unfortunately failure to comply can be very costly both in time and financial terms and at its worst end is legal action against the development.
So when do I need to serve a Party Wall Notice?
You need to serve notice if you are; excavating within 3 metres of an adjoining owners structure, or if carrying out deep foundation work such as a basement or piling work within 6 metres of an adjoining owners structure.
Carrying out works to a Party structure such as installing beams into Party Walls or underpinning to a party wall;
If you are building a wall on or astride a boundary line where no wall currently exists.
In all but simple awards advanced sketch details of the engineering details are likely to be required for mutual agreement by the parties to the award. Early involvement of a structural engineer as well as your architect should make this a simple thing to obtain.
So in summary assess early the potential need for a party wall award, put the right professionals in place and serve your notices early to ensure party wall matter progress smoothly.
GGA can work closely with Selby Design from the outset, identifying any potential issues from day one, giving us as much time to address and assist in the arranging of the relevant awards/notices as soon as possible!
If you need some advice or assistance regarding party wall matters, then you can contact Gary Gabriel Associates on:
T: 01732 460142