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If you are facing misery at the hands of builders working close by, a recent case shows that you are not powerless and that the law can protect householders plagued by building works on neighbouring properties.
The case concerned a homeowner who was horrified when a deep hole was dug right up against his party wall. He succeeded in obtaining a High Court injunction which brought a £243 million development project to a shuddering halt.
There was a history of conflict between the homeowner and the company which owned, and was in the process of extensively redeveloping, a line of neighbouring houses. The dispute eventually led to a ‘party wall award’, which laid down in detail an agreed method for carrying out excavations on the site.
After spotting the hole dug alongside his land, it was clear to the homeowner that the work did not comply with the previously agreed procedure, so he swiftly obtained an injunction which brought a temporary halt to work on the site.
The Court found that the hole was at least two metres deep and clearly in breach of the party wall award. The judge described the conduct of builders on the site as ‘cavalier’ and ordered an injunction against further work, concluding that the householder was entitled to protect his family home and an injunction was warranted. The Court also awarded the homeowner his legal costs.