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The Earl of Lytton moved Amendment No. 26:


Page 3, line 37, at end insert--
("(hh) to cut into the wall of an adjoining owner's building in order to insert a flashing or other weather-proofing of a wall erected against that wall;").

The noble Earl said: This is a new provision not previously in the Bill and I shall take a little time to explain it to the Committee.

Essentially, it provides for the safeguarding of abutting buildings by allowing a flashing to be installed between the two and thus provide adequate weathering of the abutment. That follows from what I said in connection with Amendment No. 28, to which I spoke when I moved Amendment No. 21 about good building practice.

The working party advising me on the Bill felt that this type of work was a commonly encountered requirement and that specific reference to it was necessary and desirable. But in all other respects it is a strictly technical point. I beg to move.

22 May 1996 : Column 938

8.45 p.m.

The Earl of Kinnoull: My Lords, perhaps I may give the noble Earl a short rest from his excellent work. As he explained, Clause 2 gives owners certain rights of repair and this is a new right. When one reads the amendment, it states:


    "to cut into the wall of an adjoining owner's building in order to insert a flashing or other weather-proofing of a wall erected against that wall".
But it does not say anything about the protection which the adjoining owner has. The cutting into and inserting the flashing provides a better deal for his wall. I wonder whether the noble Earl believes that that is necessary or whether good practice covers that point.

The Earl of Lytton: I believe that it is unnecessary, in the sense that we are dealing with a wall in which two property owners have a clear vested interest. The Bill provides for a mechanism whereby the owner who is the person proposing works must tell his neighbour what it is that he proposes to do. That gives the neighbour full rights to look at what is proposed and to satisfy himself that the proposed work is being done correctly.

The provision in the London Building Acts did not refer specifically to the cutting in of flashings. Therefore, although that has not created any problems, it is important that now we are revisiting this legislation to apply it to the whole country, that that should be put on the face of the Bill and made quite clear.

What the noble Earl said about certain rights being given to building owners is true. But rights are given to both owners because they both have a clear, joint stake in what is happening to the wall. By its very nature, it is a wall through which the legal boundary passes so that a piece of it is on one side and another piece on the other side. That is quantifiably different from a wall which is on a property owner's own land for which he may need co-operation to gain access. This amendment deals with a situation which occurs in many properties throughout the country. I hope that I have answered all the points which the noble Earl raised. He nods and I am glad to see that. I commend the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendments No. 27 to 29:


Page 3, line 48, leave out second ("the") and insert ("an").
Page 4, line 2, at end insert--
("(2A) Where work mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) is not necessary on account of defect or want of repair of the structure or wall concerned, the right falling within that paragraph is exercisable--
(a) subject to making good all damage occasioned by the work to the adjoining premises or to their internal furnishings and decorations; and
(b) where the work is to a party structure or external wall, subject to carrying any relevant flues and chimney stacks up to such a height and in such materials as may be agreed between the building owner and the adjoining owner concerned or, in the event of dispute, determined in accordance with section 10;
and relevant flues and chimney stacks are those which belong to an adjoining owner and either form part of or rest on or against the party structure or external wall.

22 May 1996 : Column 939


(2B) The right falling within subsection (2)(e) is exercisable subject to--
(a) making good all damage occasioned by the work to the adjoining premises or to their internal furnishings and decorations; and
(b) carrying any relevant flues and chimney stacks up to such a height and in such materials as may be agreed between the building owner and the adjoining owner concerned or, in the event of dispute, determined in accordance with section 10;
and relevant flues and chimney stacks are those which belong to an adjoining owner and either form part of or rest on or against the party structure.
(2C) Any right falling within subsection (2)(f), (g) or (h) is exercisable subject to making good all damage occasioned by the work to the adjoining premises or to their internal furnishings and decorations.
(2D) The right falling within subsection (2)(hh) is exercisable subject to making good all damage occasioned by the work to the wall of the adjoining owner's building.
(2E) The right falling within subsection (2)(l) is exercisable subject to--
(a) reconstructing any parapet or replacing an existing parapet with another one; or
(b) constructing a parapet where one is needed but did not exist before.").
Page 4, line 4, leave out ("commencement of this Act") and insert ("day on which this Act was passed").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3 [Party structure notices]:

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendments Nos. 30 to 32:


Page 4, line 8, leave out ("the adjoining owner notice in writing") and insert ("any adjoining owner a notice").
Page 4, line 21, leave out ("twelve months of service of the notice") and insert ("the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which the notice is served").
Page 4, line 26, leave out ("owner") and insert ("owners").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 4 [Counter notices]:

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendments Nos. 33 to 35:


Page 4, line 31, leave out ("The") and insert ("An").
Page 4, line 32, leave out ("in writing").
Page 5, line 5, leave out ("one month of the service of the party structure notice") and insert ("the period of one month beginning with the day on which the party structure notice is served").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 5 [Disputes arising under sections 3 and 4]:

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendment No. 36:


Page 5, line 15, leave out from ("not") to ("he") in line 16 and insert ("serve a notice indicating his consent to it within the period of fourteen days beginning with the day on which the party structure notice or counter notice was served,").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.

22 May 1996 : Column 940

Clause 6 [Adjacent excavation and construction]:

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendment No. 37:


Page 5, line 19, leave out from beginning to ("may") in line 37 and insert--
("(1) This section applies where--
(a) a building owner proposes to excavate, or excavate for and erect a building or structure, within a distance of three metres measured horizontally from any part of a building or structure of an adjoining owner; and
(b) any part of the proposed excavation, building or structure will within those three metres extend to a lower level than the level of the bottom of the foundations of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
(1A) This section also applies where--
(a) a building owner proposes to excavate, or excavate for and erect a building or structure, within a distance of six metres measured horizontally from any part of a building or structure of an adjoining owner; and
(b) any part of the proposed excavation, building or structure will within those six metres meet a plane drawn downwards in the direction of the excavation, building or structure of the building owner at an angle of forty-five degrees to the horizontal from the line formed by the intersection of the plane of the level of the bottom of the foundations of the building or structure of the adjoining owner with the plane of the external face of the external wall of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
(1B) The building owner").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendment No. 38:


Page 5, line 39, after ("building") insert (" or structure").

The noble Earl said: In moving this amendment, I should like to speak also to Amendment No. 43. These are minor drafting amendments in relation to the inclusion of structures, including a reference to structures which are not necessarily buildings. That would include such things as, for example, lift shafts and arches. It is an important consideration which the Bill's promoters consider a prudent amendment to the legislation. I hope that the Committee will agree. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.


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