The Party Wall Act 1996

The Party Wall Act 1996 puts in place steps to safeguard the rights of those undertaking certain types of building work and the rights of their adjoining neighbours.

The Party Wall Act works to protect the owner undertaking the works, through party wall surveyors, by ensuring the work is lawful, whilst also protecting their neighbour’s rights in the event of damage occurring.

If you intend to carry to construction or alterations which involve the following you may need to serve a Party Wall Service as outlined in the Act:

  • Work on a wall, floor or ceiling shared with another property
  • Building on the boundary with another property
  • Excavation within 6 metres of an adjoining building

If you would like information on the Party Wall Act please call us to discuss.

Permitted Development

These are the rules governing the size of any additions you can make to your property without using the Planning Process. They were modified significantly in 2008 and are currently undergoing further amendments.

Permitted Development Rights are not subjective; you either have them or you do not.

We can establish your Permitted Development Rights, in certain cases there are restriction on properties Permitted Development Rights, for example with listed properties or homes situated within Designated Conservation Area or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If you would like information on Permitted Development please call us to discuss or click on the attached to view.

Right to Light

A Right to Light may be required by anyone who has had uninterrupted use of something over someone else’s land for 20 years without consent, openly and without threat, and without interruption of more than a year.

Your Right to Light is protected in England and Wales under common law.

If a new building, extension or even a garden shed limits the amount of light coming in through a window and the level of light inside falls below the accepted level, then this constitutes an obstruction.

The Rights to Light should not be mistaken with Sunlight and Daylight calculations, which invariably are a planning requirement. Whilst not a legal requirement the principles as outlined in the British Research Establishment (BRE) document ‘Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight’ it has become increasingly common for planning authorities to insist on a daylight and sunlight survey prior to granting planning permission.

If you would like information on Rights to Light please call us to discuss or click on the attached to view.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations are a series of design standards to which the new works must comply, these control issues such as thermal performance, ventilation, structure and drainage solutions. We can manage the liaison with building control to ensure that all of the relevant paperwork (the application fee is not included within our costs) are completed and submitted for approval and that the finished are signed off by an approved Building Control Officer.

April 2014 will see the implementation of Part L 2013 which will introduce a 6% uplift over Part L 2010 across the build mix. There is a range of guidance to learn about the changes and to examine how these impact on new build developments.

At this stage there may be need for supplementary information and we can advise on the need for any additional studies and/or consultants, these may include:

  • Party Wall Agreements
  • Structural Calculations
  • Water Authority Build Over Agreements
  • Ecological Reports (eg Bat / habitat surveys)

If this is an area that you feel you would like to manage yourself, or leave your builder to manage, we will be more than happy to be available to offer assistance.

We can also recommend local builders who will be able to work with you.

Building Control Services – in partnership with Leeds City Council

CMM Design Services are in partnership with Leeds City Council Building Control so all our applications are submitted using a Partner Authority Application form.

Whether you are a householder or a business and you want to improve your property, build an extension, convert your loft or garage, fit out shops or offices, build a house or even a factory, you will need a Building Regulation approval.

Building Control will help you reach all minimum standards without unnecessary fuss. Your Building Regulation application will be processed quickly and you will be given useful and practical feedback on your plans and provide regular site inspections to help with any unexpected issues that arise during building work.

Building Control also provides additional services to support professional developers and contractors including:

  • Fire risk assessments
  • SAPs, SBEMs and other energy assessments
  • Code for Sustainable Homes assessments
  • Acoustic testing
  • Air pressure testing
  • Access audits
  • Structural and fire engineering
  • Contamination consultancy

If you would like more information on making a Building Regulation application please call us to discuss or you can call into the Development Enquiry Centre and talk to a member of the Building Control team.

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