Q&As

A landowner proposes to undertake works on his land which involve excavation, the foundations of which will encroach onto the adjoining owner's land by one metre. It is not clear whether the foundations comprise 'special foundations' as defined in section 20 of Party Wall etc Act 1996. If the landowner obtains the adjoining property owner's consent, does section 6 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 allow the landowner to construct the foundations in the absence of any other rights to access the adjoining owner's property?

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Produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 27/05/2016

The following Property Q&A Produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A landowner proposes to undertake works on his land which involve excavation, the foundations of which will encroach onto the adjoining owner's land by one metre. It is not clear whether the foundations comprise 'special foundations' as defined in section 20 of Party Wall etc Act 1996. If the landowner obtains the adjoining property owner's consent, does section 6 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 allow the landowner to construct the foundations in the absence of any other rights to access the adjoining owner's property?

Notice requirements in respect of excavations are outlined in section 6 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (PWA 1996), and in particular, they deal with excavations which are within between three and six metres of an adjoining property..

Dealing firstly with the matter of 'special foundations', these are defined in PWA 1996, s 20 as: '…foundations in which an assemblage of beams or rods is employed for the purpose of distributing any load'.

If the foundations meet the above definition they require the adjoining owner's prior consent in writing. Clearly this an extremely technical area, and a report should be obtained in order to consider whether the foundations in this scenario can properly be classed as special foundations.

Turning to a consideration of whether section 6 will apply to the construction of foundations which encroach onto the adjoining owner’s land, it seems likely that th

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