Party Wall Surveying

Rights of Light and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996

This post was originally published on Will Lloyd’s Linkedin Page

Does Rights of Light come under the Party Wall etc Act 1996?

A few times a month we get asked a variation of the question “My neighbours extension will overshadow my house, can we put something in the Party Wall Award?”

Unfortunately the remit of the Party Wall Surveyor is relatively narrow (but clearly defined) and stepping outside of this means stepping out of an area in which we have any jurisdiction. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is quite clear on this and even goes as far as to include a clause under Section 9, Subsection a which states :

9 Easements.

Nothing in this Act shall—

(a) authorise any interference with an easement of light or other easements in or relating to a party wall; or

(b) prejudicially affect any right of any person to preserve or restore any right or other thing in or connected with a party wall in case of the party wall being pulled down or rebuilt.</i>

Who can help me with my Right of Light concerns?

In laymans speak - those acting under the act cannot interfere with easements of light BUT this doesn’t mean that the owners with the concerns cannot claim for loss of light. This is generally carried out by appointing a right of light surveyor to assess and negotiate terms and (if any) compensation agreements.

It’s important to note that overshadowing is a valid reason to object to a planning application if you can refer to any relevant planning policies set by your council. Generally planners are only concerned with whether a development would lead to an unacceptable loss of light according to their policies.

White & Lloyd are Party Wall Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors, Project Managers and Structural Engineers regulated by the RICS, CIOB and CABE. We are based in Weybridge, Surrey and Fulham, London.