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Extension foundations close to another building
I have given my neighbour a Party Wall Act form to sign for an extension I have planned for January. He's worried that the foundations will be dug too close to his house. What's the safe minimum width between foundation and house?
1 Answer from a MyBuilder Architectural Designer
Zed, I am not entirely clear what question your neighbour is asking, but if I get the idea correctly then it appears that he would like some separation of your foundation from the boundary line, i.e. he would like all of the works on your property in a bid to not disturb his property.
If you have already issued the party wall notice then I am sure that you will be aware that to avoid him having any right under the act to comment and have any impact on your works there would need to be three metres between your new foundation and their existing one.
Not something you can contemplate clearly or you wouldn't be proposing to build closer to the boundary than this.
It is perfectly safe for you to have your new foundation up to the boundary. The building control officer will want to see it to the depth of the existing foundations as a minimum, but if ground conditions dictate it, then they will want to see it deeper still. So that is the structural side of things taken care of.
However, as you already aware I am sure, your neighbour has rights under the Party Wall Act. He has the right to appoint a surveyor, at your expense, to request details of how the works will be carried out to protect your neighbour's property, carry out a conditional survey before the works are commenced and after the works are completed and request any changes be rectified, again at your expense.
It really will pay to try to get your neighbour on board without them wanting to get a surveyor involved, party wall issues can get costly and have serious impact on getting things under way in the sorts of time frames you are hoping for.
Maybe give them a visit, let them know that all of the work will be inspected by the building control body and that structurally everything is pretty ordinary, thousands of extensions in similar circumstances as yours are built every year, and a great many are done without either party having knowledge of the Party Wall Act I am sure!
You have done the correct thing addressing the Party Wall Act issue, even if it doesn't seem that way now, imagine getting part way through your work, your neighbour discovering his rights and then raising them, at worst getting things stopped on site through a court injunction!
There is a handy guide on the internet produced by the government, just google party wall guidance and you will find a pdf download.
Good luck with your neighbours and your project.
Answered 18th Dec 2015
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