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Last edited 06 Jan 2021
Construction covered by the Party Wall Act of 1996
When discussing works that fall within the remit of the Party Wall Act of 1996, it is important to understand and differentiate between works that are ‘notifiable’ and works that are not covered within the Act, also known as “non-notifiable” works.
The term notifiable referrers to works that may be taking place within a homeowner’s property (or building owner under the Party Wall Act 1996). If the proposed works affect any of the neighbouring properties (known as the adjoining owner’s property), then Party Wall procedures will apply.
- Excavations taking place near an adjoining owner’s property (such as walls, outhouses or garden structures).
- Works taking place which directly affect a party structure or party wall.
- New walls being built up to - or astride - the line of junction (or boundary line) between two or more properties.
Excavation works taking place within a building owner’s land may still be notifiable, since it may pose a risk to the foundations beneath those structures. This often comes into play with rear extensions or basement conversions.
- 6(1) Excavate to accommodate the foundations to a proposed extension within three metres.
- 6(2) Excavate to accommodate the foundations to a proposed extension within six metres where it cuts at a 45 degree angle measured from the adjoining owner’s footing
 Works directly affecting party wall or structure
Works that directly affect a party structure or party wall have a two month notice period. These types of works most commonly tend occur when undertaking loft conversions, removing chimney breasts or undergoing other structural works to the party wall.
- 2(2)(a) To underpin, thicken or raise a party structure, a party fence wall, or an external wall which belongs to the building owner and is built against a party structure or party fence wall.
- 2(2)(b) To make good, repair, or demolish and rebuild, a party structure or party fence wall in a case where such work is necessary on account of defect or want of repair of the structure or wall.
- 2(2)(f) To cut into the party wall for the insertion of steel beams facilitating a proposed loft conversion in the process exposing the party wall.
- 2(2)(g) To cut away the chimney breast(s) attached to the party wall.
- 2(2)(h) To cut away parts of any wall or building of an adjoining owner overhanging onto the land of the building owner.
- 2(2)(j) To cut into the wall of an adjoining owner’s building in order to insert a flashing or other weather-proofing.
- 2(2)(k) To execute any other necessary works incidental to the connection of a party structure.
- 2(2)(l) To demolish party fence wall and rebuild as a party wall.
- 2(2)(n) To expose the party wall.
In order to build a new wall up to - or astride - the boundary line, a building owner must get consent beforehand. If the building owner does not get consent, then the new wall must be built within the building owner’s boundary and therefore be built up to the line of junction. These types of works are most commonly the flank walls of new rear, side or front extensions.
The section that would apply to this would be:
- 1(2) Build a new party wall astride the line of junction, forming the flank wall of the proposed extension.
- 1(5) Build a new wall up to the line of junction, but wholly on the building owner’s land forming the flank wall of the proposed extension.
This article was provided by Berrylodge in April 2020.
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