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FAQs Excavation near neighbouring buildings

Excavation near neighbouring buildings (section 6 of the Act)

The following works fall under the Act.

  1. Excavatation or construction of foundations within 3 metres of a neighbouring owner’s building or structure where that work will go deeper than the neighbour’s foundations.
  2. Excavatation or construction of foundations for a new building or structure, within 6 metres of a neighbouring owner’s building or structure where that work will cut a line drawn downwards at 45 degrees from the bottom of the neighbour’s foundations. This ofter relates to piled foundations.

If you are undertaking any of these works you must inform the adjoining owner by serving a notice. The notice must also state whether you propose to strengthen or safeguard the foundations of the building or structure belonging to the adjoining owner. The notice must be accompanied by plans.

If you start work without having first given notice in the proper way the adjoining owners may seek to stop your work through a court injunction or seek other legal redress.

How long in advance do I have to serve the notice?

At least one month before the planned starting date for the excavation.

The notice is valid for one year.

What happens after I serve notice?

If the adjoining owner agrees in writing to the excavation then the work may go ahead.

If the adjoining owner does not respond, or objects to the proposed work, a dispute is regarded as having arisen and a party wall agreement will be required.

What about access to neighbouring property?

Under the Act an adjoining occupier must provide access to undertake the works.

The building owners must give the adjoining owner and occupier notice of your intention to exercise these rights of entry. The Act says that 14 days’ notice must usually be given.

It is an offence to refuse entry to or obstruct someone who is entitled to enter premises under the Act, if the offender knows that the person is entitled to be there.

 
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