Boundary wall incorporated in building

Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby Verity » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:56 pm

Besides the necessity of seeking planning permission for any buiilding on a boundary wall, does anyone know what other building regulations if any would apply to such a dwelling?

I'm talking about a wall forming a boundary between two neighbours, a garage was built on this boundary wall, and this has now been converted to a dwelling. .. Planning permission wasn't sought, and as events have turned out, the building neighbour has now been put in the position of having to seek permission for retention...

In a nutshell, what I really want to know is, can I attach a building to a joint boundary wall without my neighbour's agreement, and if I get retention permission for this, can I enter my neighbour's property to maintain the wall on my neighbour's side without his permission. - does the granting of permission give me rights of maintenance over what is my house wall, in other words?
Thanks for any replies.
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Postby Verity » Fri May 01, 2009 12:08 pm

Why does it say I'm offline when I'm logged in, doesn anyone know? Ok, now it says I'm online :)
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Re: Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby reddy » Fri May 01, 2009 12:17 pm

Verity wrote:Besides the necessity of seeking planning permission for any buiilding on a boundary wall, does anyone know what other building regulations if any would apply to such a dwelling?

I'm talking about a wall forming a boundary between two neighbours, a garage was built on this boundary wall, and this has now been converted to a dwelling. .. Planning permission wasn't sought, and as events have turned out, the building neighbour has now been put in the position of having to seek permission for retention...

In a nutshell, what I really want to know is, can I attach a building to a joint boundary wall without my neighbour's agreement, and if I get retention permission for this, can I enter my neighbour's property to maintain the wall on my neighbour's side without his permission. - does the granting of permission give me rights of maintenance over what is my house wall, in other words?
Thanks for any replies.


Eh no. You'd never have rights of access to his property without his permission.

You can build along the boundary wall but your actually much better off just building a new wall which is adjacent to the present boundary wall - this avoids any legal issues which might arise over your new structure affecting the existing. If you look at extensions in the AAI awards you can see how some of them have been built in the space between the existing rear garden walls.

Why not just go in and chat amiably about this. You should be able to agree something and just keep each other in the loop about whats happening. Its all about communication like. I'm sure ye can agree something.

P.s. This is just my personal opinion - don't take this as any kind of professional advice! :D Good Luck!
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Re: Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby Verity » Fri May 01, 2009 6:38 pm

Thanks indeed for the reply. Well, if access couldn't be achieved without the neighbour's permission, building incorporating the boundary wall probably won't work. I was wondering, and believe me, I've searched, is there any specific law that states that I need his permission? Since it's a question of retention, building another wall alongside the other is going to be expensive to say the least.
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Re: Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby DOC » Fri May 01, 2009 7:31 pm

Boundary walls are mutually exclusive - you both wholly own the wall but neither of you have the right to touch the wall without the others permission - it's a little complex!

Issues with regard to boundary walls are a civil matter bewteen the two parties/owners - not a planning matter, in fact planning authorities sort of wash their hands of boundary wall issues.

You can't enter your neighbours property without their permission, planning or no planning.
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Re: Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby Verity » Sat May 02, 2009 9:58 am

Ok, I'm now a lot clearer about it all, and grateful to you, Reddy and DOC for your good advice . It boils down to trespass law, really, I see now. Building inside the boundary wall seems the best bet to keep the peace.
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Re: Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby onq » Tue May 12, 2009 6:28 pm

If you had built a matching garage on your side of the wall at the same time as your neighbour things might be a little simpler.

As it stands, you now have the added burden of not damaging your neighbour's new dwelling if you build off the party wall.

Given that this wall was at least partly in the open for many years, its difficult to say what hidden problems might arise if you incorporate it into a dwelling at this time.

Building beside it might give rise to problems depending on how close you build and how deep or wide your foundation needs to be - you should get engineers advice regardless.

To minimize loss of usable land on your side you might want to build right beside the wall, but this will require specially designed and detailed foundations which in turn may be affected by depending on how well [or how badly] the garage was built initially and what loads the new house may impose on the old wall, assuming its going to be loadbearing.

You may decide to stay back a little from the wall, but you cannot yourself create a nuisance, for example a damp space that cannot be maintained between the two buildings because its too small.

This suggests 500-600mm for minimum access and drainage runs, but 900mm would be better and even at this distance you will need to take care and not disturb the existing foundations and/or any services.

As with all building matters, taking good professional advice is essential and very reasonable quotations should be available in the current climate from architects, structural engineers and builders alike.

When considering who you need to employ, remember that you will be expected to offer a clean Opinion of Compliance with the completed property if you choose to sell it as well as a Building Energy Rating Certificate.

Small buildings present particular design challenges to achieve adequate amenity and usable space and it pays to emply a competent designer to develop the plans to your specific requirements, wit ha view also to the later saleability of the development.
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Re: Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby Verity » Wed May 13, 2009 11:56 am

Thank you, onq. I do not want to build myself, but was telling the situation from my neighbour's point of view - he is the one who has built on the boundary. He has been refused retention permission and has resubmitted a new application for the very same building under his daughter's name.
As I see it, in the unlikely event that he does get planning permission this time round, we will have to go to An Bord Pleanala, or we could just take him to court to get him to remove the building, since I gather from the advice above that it is an issue of trespass. The neighbour has built a faulty building (the council described it already as 'substandard'), and was complaining last week when firewood was unloaded in the gable area of the building, and knowing this man we feel that he could well look for compensation from us if activities in our garden affected his building, particularly since from his earlier planning permission, the building appears to be built on a soakpit and his daughter said our unloading wood "shook the whole building".
He has pointed out to us that we will not live forever, but we do not want to leave a heap of trouble for our family who will probably continue to live here, and for this reason, we need to get things settled now. We have no desire to build any structure ourselves, and if we ever do, we will go the right way about it and seek planning permission first. Sometimes it seems in Ireland that planning laws are there to be skirted, rather than complied with.
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Re: Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby damproof » Wed May 13, 2009 12:56 pm

Verity, reviewing the above posts that sounds like a tough situation - the previous posters are right it amounts to trespass law really and you would be as well to contact your solicitor and get things moving on that asap - as the council could take years with enforcement action trying to get your neighbour to demolish the building and might not even be successful.
Your neighbour doesn't sound like a very pleasant man - telling you it doesn't matter because you won't live that long.
Even if your neighbour does receive retention planning permission this does not confer entitlement to carry out the works and the trespass/property law issue remains - so move fast before he starts doing a pat kenny on it and claiming squatters rights
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Re: Boundary wall incorporated in building

Postby Verity » Wed May 13, 2009 2:29 pm

Thanks indeed to you, damproof :) and I know you're right, the solicitor is the way to go, a quite unfamiliar route for us, I may add. This is a brilliant forum, I've learned a lot here already, and no doubt will continue to do so before this business is finished.
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