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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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Regarding Party Wall Act

Customer Question

I have planning approval for a single storey extension.

My property is a 4 bedroom, 2 storey link detached (terrace) house. Boundary of the extension will be 30cms from my neighbours' house. This is approved by the Planning Authority. Foundations will be within 3m of her house, but not deeper than those of the neighbouring foundations. Foundations WILL be deeper than the party fence wall foundations which separates our gardens. The party fence wall, which she is responsible for, is a wooden fence, with wooden posts.


Work has not started, and is not due to start within the next 3 months. Planning approval was granted 4 days ago.

She has served me with a requirement to involve party wall surveyors, which will cost in the region of £1000.


I have no relationship with my neighbour. She is unreasonable on all matters, and objected to planning on grounds of damage to her wooden fence. It is in my interest to retain the fence to keep her out. Should building work damage her fence, I have no problem paying for the repairs.


  1. Does my planned work require me to serve notice under the party wall act?

  2. What should I do with the notice served to me, if the work I plan does not require me to do so?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 5 years ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It's fine I can wait, thank you
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 5 years ago.

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,

Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I will try to help. Unfortunately, the existing party fence will count as a "structure" for the purposes of the 1996 Act. Accordingly, because your foundations are within the statutory distance and will go lower that the fence "foundations", you will need to serve Notice on the neighbour two months before works are due to start. With the notice, you need to explain your plans, and what you intend to do to safeguard the integrity of the fence and its "foundations". Provided there is no real risk of harm, the neighbour shouldn't object. However, it sounds like she is vindictive and will object for the sake of it. Unfortunately it is your responsibility to pay the fees, regardless of how spurious the objections are - however, if the objections are obviously silly, the surveyor won't be able to justify significant fees, because he won't need to spend too much time considering them. Many surveyors also offer a PW Act service for a fixed fee, which can be very good value for money. Hope is helps!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi, everything I have read says the wooden fence is exempt from the act? Why would it be included?
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry - I misread your original post, and thought the fence included an element of wall within it. If it is indeed a simple wooden fence only on posts, then you are quite right - this wouldn't be considered a party wall fence for the purposes of the Act.