Chartered Building Surveyor 

Party Wall etc. Act 1996

This Act will affect you if you, or a neighbour (not necessarily your next door neighbour) are planning to carry out construction work which will alter, demolish or build up a Party Structure (wall, floor, roof or boundary wall or fence) or if you or they excavate for foundations close to a neighbour's building. You, your neighbour, and anyone else with an interest in the property - tenants or landlords for instance - are referred to in the Act as 'Owners'.

It requires the Service of Notices, and the appointment of Party Wall surveyors whose role is to publish an 'Award', which ensures that the works proposed will maintain the integrity of the Party Structure or other structure which might be affecting building works. Party Wall surveyors are independent of the owners and have a duty to protect the Party Structure, not their appointing Owners' interests, which may be different. A single Party Wall Surveyor can, therefore, act for both neighbours.

We have been appointed Party Wall Surveyor for Owners carrying out works, and for those who own neighbouring properties. In some cases, we have been appointed by all of the Owners affected. In one case, we were appointed by all five owners affected by the piling for a city centre development, and have also negotiated, as their agent, scaffold licenses, and crane oversailing licenses.
Building Regulations/Planning Consultancy

For small to medium sized building projects, including new build, refurbishment and alterations, or conversion of properties, we work closely with specialist consultants JBC Ltd. and others to provide a service aimed at relieving building owners and occupiers of the chore of picking their way through Local Planning policies, and the process of getting Planning Permission, and Building Regulation Approval. Having carefully established your requirements, we will prepare plans for your approval and submit them for Approval, taking in and ensuring compliance with related Statutory Controls and Regulations such as Fire Precautions Act, Disability Discrimination Act etc. We will negotiate with the Local Planning and Building Control Authorities, and obtain Approvals and Permissions where possible, either as a complete task, or as part of overall project management .

Where Planning Policies are complex, or development contentious, or where planning Permission is refused then you may consider an appeal or require specialist advice. We have good links with a number of Chartered Town Planners, Traffic and Environmental Consultants, who we can engage on your behalf to help ensure that negotiations with the Local Planning Authority or Planning Appeals are successful.

Construction (Design & Management)
Regulations 1994

These Regulations apply to you if you are undertaking any building operation. 'Building operation' includes construction, cleaning, repair alteration and demolition.

The Regulations impose liabilities on you to deal with Health and Safety issues which arise out of the operations. It imposes liabilities on those engaged by you to design and specify the works involved, and, in larger projects, requires Notices to be served on the Health and Safety Executive. It imposes requirements upon your Contractors. The Regulations require clients to ensure that those they engage in a project are competent at assessing Health and Safety risks, and to appoint a Planning Supervisor, whose role is to ensure that information on risks is passed to all members of the construction team, and that it is acted upon by those responsible for Health and Safety of the construction site.

Far from being 'another layer of pointless red tape' the aim of the Regulations is to prevent accidents in the construction industry - accidents which still claim the lives of many, (114 in the last year) and serious injury to hundreds of others employed in the Construction industry. Accidents which often can be, and should be, avoided by simple steps embodied by the Regulations.

On small projects, we have acted as Planning Supervisor in conjunction with Project Management duties, and on larger projects, as separately appointed members of the construction team.
Philip Newman 2001

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