Chimneys & Fireplaces Question

Using gallows brackets to support chimney

The neighbour to my terraced house removed their 1st floor fireplace 5 years ago, before we moved into our property.

It has recently been revealed that it has left the chimney incorrectly supported.

Was our neighbour required to get written consent from the owner of our property at that time?

Now they want to put up Gallows brackets to support their chimney, but we also want to remove our fireplace (though have not yet done so), and you can't have gallows brackets on both sides of the walls.

Do we have any right to prevent them using Gallows brackets on the party wall?

What other solutions are available?

Would it be safe to remove the fireplace on our side, and the chimney brickwork on both sides of the party wall, so that no additional support is required?

Any suggested solutions gratefully received.

Thanks for your response Kevin. Unfortunately, the same chimney stack serves fireplaces in the front and back rooms of both flats, with a sort of upside down Y shape going from the stack to the fire places. And both flats want to keep the fireplaces in the front rooms, and just remove the fireplaces in the back rooms. I was hoping it might be possible to remove both back fireplaces and one half of the Y.

2 Answers

Best Answer

DO NOT take down your fire breast as well as this could very well totally destabilise the chimney on the roof which could wind up coming through the roof. I didn't think any councils allowed gallows brackets any longer but would not swear to it. At this juncture I would seriously recommend the services of a structural engineer. If you want to remove the breast on your side as well as the other side I believe the best route forward would be to remove the stack as well then repair the roof / make good brickwork, plasterwork as required. (Presuming that 1st floor is the floor below the loft area.) Kevin.
Really down to getting advise of a structural engineer. As breasts are removed from both sides you could ask SE (if both sides were agreeable) if steel pins(RSJ's) could be inserted through the walls on pad stones and the remaining brickwork could be supported of the steel pins on both sides.

Answered 16th Oct 2013

kevin cassidy building contractors

Member since 16 Dec 2010

Don't see a problem here.
Yes a Party Wall Agreement was applicable, but now it's done nothing can be forced to change the gallows bracket.
You will need to employ an engineer to design how you support the remaining chimney on your side and apply to the council with a Building Notice: plus notify your neighbour under the Party Wall Act.
It's not going to be cheap!

Answered 16th Oct 2013

JLM Architecture Limited

Member since 5 Sep 2013

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