The Party Wall Etc Act 1996 is now well over 10 years old. In some quarters, however, it still seems to be regarded as an optional extra on top of Planning and Building Control legislation; to be considered or disregarded at will. Building Owners don’t seem to realise that this legislation is here to protect them as much as their neighbours.
Ellis Belk is a leading authority on Party Wall matters. We are McCarthy and Stone’s chosen Party Wall Surveyor for Southern England and work with many other large organisations such as the Environment Agency, The RNLI, Local Authorities and Source Development Partnership.
Brian Ellis is our resident party wall expert having been involved with Party Wall legislation since 1975 in London. In fact, prior to the Act ‘going national’ Brian was consulted by the Earl of Lytton and the Late John Anstey, who piloted the case through the Lords.
Brian is also a founder member of the Wessex Branch of the Pyramus and Thisbe Club and remains an active committee member even now.
All this experience has led Ellis Belk Associates to take a seemingly unique approach to Party Wall matters because:
- We use Notices and other forms that we have designed ourselves instead of relying on the generic forms that are in circulation. We simply feel ours are better at communicating the relevant information.
- We produce Awards that are written in plain English that hopefully everyone can understand not just the Surveyors.
- Unfortunately the ‘Act uses some very negative and confusing terminology so we try to soften the approach in our initial correspondence by explaining what is really meant or by rewording phrases altogether. This helps Adjoining Owners understand what’s happening and tends to reduce the number of Adjoining Owner’s Surveyors’ Appointments.