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Excavation Near Neighbours - Help with Party Wall Notices

Can I excavate near my neighbour?

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If you plan to excavate, or construct foundations for a new building or structure, within 3 metres of a neighbouring owner's building or structure where that work will go deeper than the neighbour's foundations:
Boundary lines - diagram showing boundary lines of detached property
OR excavate, or construct foundations for a new building or structure, within 6 metres of a neighbouring owner's building or structure where that work will cut a line drawn downwards at 45o from the bottom of the neighbour's foundations:
Boundary lines - diagram showing boundary lines at excavation points

You must inform the adjoining owner by serving a notice - this is known as a section six.
The section 6 notice must also state whether you propose to strengthen or safeguard the foundations of the building or structure belonging to the adjoining owner.
The act sets out the precise information you must tell your neighbour. You must tell your neighbour in writing, it is common to use a standard Party Wall Notice to make sure that this is done. You can download party wall notice forms and templates here. You may feel happier appointing a party wall surveyor to to this for you, Collier Stevens have a competitive fixed fee service which includes serving the correct notices.
The notice must be accompanied by plans and sections to be valid.

  • When must I serve a notice

    Open or Close
    At least one month before the planned starting date for the excavation.
  • What happens after I serve a notice

    Open or Close
    If the adjoining owner gives a notice within 14 days agreeing to the excavation, the work (as agreed) may go ahead. If the adjoining owner does not respond, or objects to the proposed work, a dispute is regarded as having arisen.

    After the work has been completed, the adjoining owner may request particulars of the work, including plans and sections.
    The neighbour may then wish to appoint a party wall surveyor and have the issue resolved with a party wall agreement or party wall award. This process can take time especially of the proposals are complicated - for instance if you want to build a basement.
    The process is detailed here...
  • Can I access next door to carry out my work

    Open or Close
    Under the Act, an adjoining occupier must, when necessary, let in your workmen, your own surveyor or architect etc., and any surveyors appointed as part of the dispute resolution procedure. You must give the adjoining owner and occupier notice of your intention to exercise these rights of entry. The Act says that 14 days' notice must usually be given.

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