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Building Owner

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You have a legal obligation to serve notices if you are proposing to undertake notifiable works to your property under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

By instructing Gillies Party Wall Surveyors to serve notices on your behalf you can be confident that the notices served have the correct information, thus reducing any complications in the future. 

You can serve these without the aid of a Party Wall Surveyor, but please remember that they are legal documents and take care to ensure accuracy when serving your notices.   

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Building On Virgin Lane
Section 1

This notice is all about building on virgin land, that means land that has never been built on before or where a previous building has been demolished and the foundations have been grubbed up, returning the land to its virgin condition. 

A Section 1 Notice is required at least 1 month before works are due to commence, if any 1 of the following applies:

  • You wish to build up to the line of junction, wholly on your land.

  • You wish to build astride the line of junction, that is to say that the wall will be partially on the Adjoining Owners land.

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This is served when you are making alterations to an existing party wall, it requires 2 months notice before you intend to commence works.  The types of alterations that are notifiable are listed under Section 2 of the Act and include:

  • Making an existing wall higher, e.g. for a loft conversion.

  • Underpinning a party wall.

  • Making structural repairs to a party wall.

  • To build a new party wall that complies with building regulations.

  • Installing steel beams into a party wall. 

  • To demolish and rebuild a party wall. 

  • Removing any part of a chimney from a party wall.

  • Cutting away from a party wall.

  • Cut into a boundary wall to insert a flashing.

  • Expose the party wall that was previously enclosed. 

  • Includes flats where works are carried out the to the ceiling or floor.

Altering a
Party Wall

Section 3

Concrete Foundation

Section 6 

This notice is all about excavations.  It requires 1 month notice prior to commencing works and is applicable if any one of the following is proposed:

  • Excavating within 3 metres and to a lower depth of an existing property.  Typically includes extensions and new builds.

  • Excavating within 6 metres, to a lower depth and the excavations fall within a 45 degrees plane drawn downwards from the lowest level of the adjoining owners foundations.  Typically this includes reinforced foundations, basements, swimming pools etc. 

Once Notices have been served, the Adjoining Owner has 2 options: 

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The Adjoining Owner can choose to agree to the proposed works if they are satisfied that the proposed works will not cause damage to their property.


They must put this in writing and signed by all owner's.

This means that the Act does not apply, but there are still some protections afforded under the Act.

You can commence works after 1 or 2 months as per the notices issued, or sooner if your neighbour agrees.

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Does Not Consent

The Adjoining Owner can choose to dissent to the works.  This not to say that you cannot carry out your proposed works, but that the Adjoining Owner wishes to ensure their property is protected under the Act. 


They can appoint their own surveyor, at your expense.


Concur in the appointment of a single surveyor as 'Agreed' surveyor, which means they can act for both parties.

In either case, the appointed surveyor/s will act impartially in administering the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.  

If the Adjoining Owner fails to respond within 14 days, it is deemed as automatic Dissent.  A letter will be sent giving 10 days to respond to either concur with your surveyor or select their own surveyor.

Measurement Services

Schedule of Condition

A schedule of condition survey is carried out to the areas affecting the Party Wall to the Adjoining Owners property.

This is attended by either the Agreed surveyor or by both surveyors where the Adjoining Owner has selected their own surveyor. 

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The Award

The formal Party Wall Award is issued.  This is a legally binding document, prepared by your Party Wall Surveyor and agreed by the Adjoining Owner's own surveyor (if applicable).  It is for the benefit of both the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner.

The Award provides statutory authorisation to the Building Owner to conduct their works, in a specific manner and during specific times.


Building works must not commence before the Award is in place.  

This information is given as a guideline only and does not cover the full meaning of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.  It is given to guide you upon the processes required and we would always advise you to make contact with us for more information and advice.  We are more than happy to assist you with any of your party wall requirements, please use the contact form below and we will make contact with you, or alternatively, you may contact us.  Details at the bottom of this page. 

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