Party Wall
Apr 30, 2024

Adding floors under the Party Wall Act

As per the amendment to the General Permitted Development Order allowing property owners to add up to two further storeys...

GPDO

As per the amendment to the General Permitted Development Order allowing property owners to add up to two further storeys to their property without planning consent, which came into force on 30th December 2020, implications are as follows:

Eligibility

The eligibility condition specifies that only properties constructed between 1948 and 2018 qualify for this extension, ruling out most houses in London.

Height

For semi-detached or terraced houses, the works involve raising the party wall(s), and party walls can only be raised to a height 3.5m above the adjoining property.

Rights

Raising a party wall is a right under section 2(2)(a) of the Act but requires serving a Party Structure Notice on affected neighbours.

The adjoining owner can either consent or dissent upon receiving a notice, triggering a dispute if they dissent. Disputes require the appointment of surveyors who produce a party wall award.

If the adjoining property is converted into flats, the raising of the party wall is notifiable to the freeholder as well as nearby leaseholders whose demise encompasses the affected section of the party wall.

Enclosure Fee

Adjoining owners have the right to enclose upon the raised party walls in the future, but they must pay a due proportion (typically 50%) of the construction costs.

Construction Materials

The materials used to raise a party wall are somewhat ambiguous under the Act, but surveyors generally authorise the use of the original material to avoid prejudicing the adjoining owner's future rights.

Summary

In summary, the amendment allows property owners to extend their properties by raising party walls, subject to specific conditions and the serving of Party Structure Notices. Liaise with our team to arrange a party wall surveyor today.