Urban Building SurveyorsChartered Building Surveyors
Urban Building Surveyors
specialises in neighbourly matters, including party walls, rights to light, boundaries, easements, as well as daylight and sunlight for planning.
Where the Party Wall etc Act applies, David firstly provides well considered party wall advice to his client on making the best use of the rights and protection available to him or her, whether as a building owner or an adjoining owner.
Where appointed by the building owner, David serves party wall notices leading to party wall agreements by either consent or party wall awards so that the works can proceed without unnecessary cost or delay.
He is highly competent in anticipating and pre-empting anything that might hinder progress on site, so reducing the risk and stress that building works can bring about. Where appointed by the adjoining owner, he ensures that the party wall award minimises any disturbance and inconvenience to him and his occupiers.
A schedule of condition, drawn up to protect the parties to the fullest extent possible, is taken and agreed before work starts.
David is very experienced in the interpretation of symptoms of building defects, attribution of their causes, and assessment of often conflicting evidence. If damage is claimed to have been caused, he is able to readily determine and agree its extent and the liability for it.
Rights to Light
Whenever required David makes a preliminary on site or off plan assessment of rights to light.
If desired he can also produce a maximum building envelope report. This helps developers and architects in the early design stages to maximise the development potential without injuring existing rights.
A preliminary report can also help a neighbour to identify whether a proposed development is likely to cause any infringement.
David produces full rights to light reports quantifying any loss of light and also including assessment of the likelihood of successful injunction proceedings, or of the amount of compensation payable, as appropriate.
He also produces daylight and sunlight reports for planning applications. To produce the report he assesses the site as it stands and calculates the changes and impact the proposed development will have on surrounding properties. He reports on satisfaction with the BRE guidance and any additional local planning authority requirements.
A shorter sunlight and daylight report can also be produced in support of a planning objection.
David interprets the boundary features and analyses them with respect to any original deeds, agreements, and evidence of practical ownership such as user and maintenance. He then produces a reasoned expert opinion as to the true position of a boundary and if so instructed endeavours to reach agreement with the neighbour.
If agreement proves impossible, he produces CPR-compliant expert reports for use in litigation. He can also advise on alternative dispute resolution processes, such as mediation, to avoid the costs of litigation.
Easements and Restrictive Covenants
In addition to rights of light, David assesses and advises on other easements such as rights of way and drainage, and on restrictive covenants such as a prohibition on building above a certain height.
He can offer the client expert advice on the constraints they would impose on proposed development. He can then devise and negotiate alternatives to enable work to take place. He also advises on, and agrees compensation for, injurious affection where statutory undertakings seek wayleaves.
With over forty years’ experience of party wall and boundary matters, rights to light, and other easements, David has given expert evidence on boundaries, structural damage and its cause, and party wall matters. He advises both on rights to light and on sunlight and daylight for planning.
He has given evidence to the Law Commission and to the House of Lords.
His research into the history of special foundations led to a paradigm shift in their understanding. Some papers are on researchgate.net