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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22620
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I have a new build going up about a metre from the perimeter

Customer Question

I have a new build going up about a metre from the perimeter wall
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Northern Ireland
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes we have a solicitor but he dragging his heels The structure arrived the 24th of this month as the foundations are done We have been told by the planning office that the build gas to be 7.75 metres from point to point of point of each building
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just need to know if we can stop work going ahead as our solicitor is saying it will go to court and if it's found in correct the building will come down I don't have faith
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 months ago.

Good morning. What exactly is the problem? If you could explain the background detail in full, that would be really useful please. Thank you

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We bought a property without knowing there was a development going up
There was about two metres of grass in out embankment followed by a large row of trees
They knocked one day and said they would like to remove the trees. I didn't like them so I thought ok take them down
Big mistake as they have now built on the two metres above my perimeter wall
I have lived here for two years now with a year of talking to my solicitor
We have collected information going back to when thus gouse was built and the builders and first residents confirm that the two metres before the tree was always theirs
The new development land was bought off plan
As I'm talking to you the scaffolding is going up awaiting the timbers in the 24th April
I'm just worried as my solicitor keeps saying it will come down if we win in court but I'm thinking once it's up it will never come down
I've got the counciler involved and received a letter saying our case is urgent and will be reviewed next .... That could be a year
Basically I need to know if I can stop the building going ahead ... I was hoping the council who came out to view would stop them as ithe building needs to be 7.75 metres from corner to corner of both buildings ... But no one will disclose the measurement
Although the I could measure it myself I can't stop them building .... It's so frustrating
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 months ago.

Thank you. You may have a claim against the solicitor if the solicitor didn’t advise you about this and it was shown on the local search. However just because there was not planning permission at the time you purchase the property doesn’t mean there would not have been an application a few months later because a local search only lasts a limited period of time, six months.

Assuming that your plans and that title deed plan is quite clear in showing that the piece of land which presumably they intend to build on, belongs to you and that there is sufficient in the paperwork for that to be a dispute, then I think it would be remiss of the solicitor to simply let this go ahead.

The further of the goes, the less chance there is of it coming down! What the court will not do is let you sit down and watch this building going on, knowing there is a dispute, and then order it to be torn down.

What you should be doing is applying to court for an injunction to stop building pending resolution of the boundary issue. The local authority planning department will not get involved in boundary disputes. Even if there was a covenant on the property preventing this, the local authority will not get involved in breaches of those covenants.

Ask your solicitor why he thinks it is not appropriate to get an injunction and if the building gets finished, and it is agreed that the boundary was in the wrong place and that this has been built on your land, BUT they don’t get in order to tear it down, what is the solicitor going to do about it?

Because there is some urgency here, your solicitor could attach a certificate of urgency to the application and you could have an injunction tomorrow. It would only be temporary pending a full hearing.

Does that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points arising from this?

Please don’t forget to use Star rating box at the top right hand corner of the page to rate my answer positively. If you don’t rate it positively, I don’t get credit for my time dealing with your problem.

However even after rating, the thread does remain open and if anything else need clarification, we can still exchange emails.

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi my solicitor has said that if we were to get a court injunction and lose we would have to pay for the loss of work ... This is why I'm getting frustrated as if we stop work and it takes a year to go to court we are only covered up to £30000 on our insurance
Here in Ireland things are worked on and then fought for after ... Mad
I'm guess that's why the builders are going ahead with the build as youve said once it's up its there ...WILL they take it down .... ???
Council did say they would get involved if it don't meet planning permission are you saying they don't get involved ... don't feel confident
I've done my own measurements and from point to point we are 29 inches at a loss but more going towards the back of the property .....I will contact our solicitor tomorrow as on holiday hereWould you recommend we get in touch with our mortgage provider as not sure if it will devalue our propertyMany Thanks
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 months ago.

Your solicitor is absolutely correct regarding costs. BUT I think you have more chance of getting an injunction to stop the work going ahead then to get a court order to have the whole thing torn down afterwards. I just don’t think that you will why he thinks that you have more chance of getting an order for it to be torn down than getting a court order to prevent it being built in the short term pending the resolution of the land dispute get that order if you sit by and watch the whole thing being built on land which allege is yours.

Personally, I would be asking the solicitor why you think you have more chance of getting it torn down then getting an injunction to halt progress pending the dispute and what he’s going to do if you don’t get it torn down. Remember also that if you don’t get the order to have it torn down, you will have to pay costs then in any event.

With regard to the local authority, they will only get involved in planning issues not boundary disputes. I would hold off telling your mortgage lender for the time being. They are unlikely to fund the litigation!

I know how it works in Nor’n Iron, I have some friends there. It was very similar over here in North Wales where I live because a lot of land is still unregistered.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Can my solicitor demand the results of the measurement taken by the Principal Enforcement Officer
I need to know who to address first later today I'm sure you will say my solicitor just hope he's not on holiday until Monday as the timbers arrive that day and as you've said need it stopped now
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 months ago.

Yes he can.

And if they won’t let him have them, he can threaten and ultimately make an application to court for pre-action disclosure (and legal costs) of that information.

It may be quicker and easier however and more risk-free to simply have your own survey done if you haven’t done already. I accept that coming from the local authority Officer it would be pretty persuasive.

Because the Officer is not actually involved in the process and is not getting involved in the dispute, then what would be applied for is known as a Norwich Pharmacal order which is an order against the third party for them to disclose information to a litigant or potential litigant.

Please don’t forget to use Star rating box at the top right hand corner of the page to rate my answer positively. If you don’t rate it positively, I don’t get credit for my time dealing with your problem.

However even after rating, the thread does remain open and if anything else need clarification, we can still exchange emails.

Kind regards.


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