How Do Neighbourly Matters Relate To Party Wall Agreements?

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A lot of people who have made modifications to their homes or have either attempted to or have sought permission to do so are likely to be aware of a party wall agreement.

party wall is the boundary between two different properties, which can in some cases be a physical wall (such as with terrace or semi-detached houses) or in other cases can be marked with a hedge or a fence.

If you want to do certain types of construction work on or close to this party wall, you must tell your neighbours as this work is likely to affect them too. This has been the case in law since 1996 but is a common part of neighbourly relations.

However, party wall disputes are a specific part of a much larger set of formal and informal discussions and disputes relating to development that are often grouped by the term “neighbourly matters”.

Neighbourly matters are a subset of development and planning concerns that broadly bring together every aspect of development that affects neighbours.

This includes concepts such as the “right to light”, the idea that developments that would otherwise be accepted or covered under permitted development rights could be refused if they block out a neighbour’s right to sunlight.

Conversely, it also covers artificial light pollution, such as with spotlights and other security systems.

They also cover not only the result of developments but also the ways in which development is undertaken in a way that often blurs the lines between informal discussions and formal agreements.

For example, this can include cases where someone needs access to your property to undertake maintenance and repairs on theirs, cases where cranes need to operate close to or over your property as well as the effects of scaffolding and other temporarily erected buildings.

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