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Hello I am new here, and trying to work out how to go about rebuilding a garden wall that was blown down last winter.

 

Finally managed to get a straight answer from my local city council about what plans they need, but a design and access statement? Who from? I have read the guidelines but they seem rather excessive as they refer to developments and changes to buildings which this is not.

 

 

Yes, we live in a conservation area, the house is listed, but the wall is not. So we do not need listed building planning for it, or so we are told by the city council, having been previously told that we do!!

 

We started this rigamarole months ago, when, having got a builder in to give us an estimate, we realised that we would have to build the wall slightly differently because it has a tree with a TPO in our garden, next to the wall, so the wall will have to make room for it. We had an arboriculturalists report done on the tree, which gave precise descriptions of what would be needed for the tree and the wall. At this point the owner of the house next door (it is let to someone else, she does not live there) then decided to go for permission to cut the tree down. After a frustrating and wasted three months, the tree still stands.

 

So...tearing our hair out, we are now facing a lot more cost - we think, if we do have to go the route of a design and access statement. We cannot get any sense out of the City council planning people, they just refer us to the guidelines on line, which tell us little that is helpful about who does these statements, and if it is really necessary anyway for a replacement garden wall!!!

 

We put in a claim to have the wall rebuilt, back at the beginning of the year, and got some of the money from the insurers, but had to stop the process because of all the fuss about the tree, and now we are not sure if we can go ahead, or if it will cost us even more.

 

Please...anyone? Any help very gratefully accepted.

 

:madgrin:

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Is the tree on your property? If it has a TPO then the most you will get is to crown lift or trim some branches IMO.

how is the neighbour involved? is it a party wall in the garden?

If you do not need planning? then I do not see how they can ask for design and access statement? as it usually goes with a planning application.

You need to go and see the Planning dept and have a pre-application assessment; they will tell you what you need to do. ( take photos of wall and tree ).

So if you do need planning as you are altering the wall ( does it front on roadway? )you will need to submit plans of the proposed wall, height, details of construction and materials to be used etc.

If you were rebuilding like for like then no planning would be required.

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Thanks for the full response. Yes the tree is on our property, and we know it has a tpo, that is why we got the arboriculturalists report on it. Legally bound.

 

Our closest neighbour and we share a driveway which leads onto a road. To be clear, we live on the corner of two roads. Our house used to have an orchard which stretched away behind the house. The previous owner sold it to a developer and we have a small garden and a shared drive onto the road to our right.

 

To our left our wall stretches along from the end of our garage to the beginning of the wall beside our closest neighbour who shares our drive. The tree is on our side of the wall, about 1\4 of the way along. I cannot post a link to explain this as a picture as I haven't posted here enough yet.

 

So, unless we are willing to rebuild the wall without changes, which we cannot do, other than by leaving a gap where the tree is, we have to have a D & A statement? Even that is an alteration.

 

We have already had a long telephone consultation months ago, when the young lady (who has now left!) guided us through the forms to complete, which we did, on her instructions. May be we missed out on the D & A by mistake.

 

Frankly we are very unimpressed with the City Council, they are known to be very difficult to deal with. The TP Officer never bothered to come to look at the tree when the application was put in to fell it, by our neighbour. We waited three months for a response from him, when we wrote to ask about the tree and the wall, way back at the beginning of the year, and the conservation officer turned up without making an appointment and was pretty uncompromising.

 

So my original question remains - how do we get a D & A statement done? Who does it? Neither my husband nor I have the time, energy or ability to complete what is required, and frankly the stress of the last six months is beginning to tell on my blood pressure and his ill-health (he has copd).

 

In hope and with thanks for the help so far.

Edited by stephn-s
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as said. the DAS will be pretty basic, but if you feel you cannot do it yourself, you can employ a Planning Consultant, or a local Architect to do it for you.

What did the conservation officer actually say? and did he confirm anything in writing.

Have you made a Planning Application yet? and got a number and any response? you can get approval subject to conditions.

If not then again suggest you go for a pre-app consultation. ( minimal cost ) but you do get good advice, but they do caveat that with they are not bound by the advice when you actually make the App.

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as said. the DAS will be pretty basic, but if you feel you cannot do it yourself, you can employ a Planning Consultant, or a local Architect to do it for you.

What did the conservation officer actually say? and did he confirm anything in writing.


Have you made a Planning Application yet? and got a number and any response? you can get approval subject to conditions.


If not then again suggest you go for a pre-app consultation. ( minimal cost ) but you do get good advice, but they do caveat that with they are not bound by the advice when you actually make the App.


 




Yes, we have made two applications, one listed building consent and one ordinary planning. We received an email telling us that we don't need listed building consent, as the wall was not listed. This is confusing because when the conservation officer visited (at the request of the neighbour during the tree fiasco) she said that we must rebuild the wall using bricks and mortar identical to the original. This will escalate the cost. Now we dont need listed building consent, so are we free to do as we wish? we have had no email from the conservation officer at all, during this recent saga. Is there a time limit on any of this? Are we under pressure to get it done or can we relax and take the whole thing slowly? Thanks for your continuing help much appreciated in this crazy world of planning.

Steph
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It may not be listed, but as in a Conservation Area, any change will require Planning Approval.

What you need to do is as the Conservation Officer has told you, and this would have been attached to any conditions on any approval you may get.

They are very strict!

Is the wall covered by any insurance ( has it collapsed or just become unstable ?) Is it significantly high? retaining any soil/earth? you may need structural advice!

Has you Planning Application been acknowledged and have a reference number?

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It may not be listed, but as in a Conservation Area, any change will require Planning Approval.

What you need to do is as the Conservation Officer has told you, and this would have been attached to any conditions on any approval you may get.


They are very strict!


Is the wall covered by any insurance ( has it collapsed or just become unstable ?) Is it significantly high? retaining any soil/earth? you may need structural advice!


Has you Planning Application been acknowledged and have a reference number?


 

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The wall collapsed towards the neighbours side in the strong winds last year. The soil level on our side is higher around the tree than on the neighbours side, they did put in a path a while ago, which lowered the soil level on their side at the part next to the tree. It was quite high, but now we have to make space for the tree roots, that will have to change it. Yes we do have a planning ref no. Thanks for the continuing advice, it helps to see more clearly.

 

Steph

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Maybe photos would help? Without knowledge of the height, and thickness/construction of the wall, it will be difficult to be comment accurately.

If it is a high wall, and not too thick then the wind would be a consideration if in an exposed location.

 

 

How much did they lower it on their side? and what is the difference in levels? If they lowered to near the foundation level that would a reason for the collapse.

It could be that in lowering the level on their side, this de-stabilised the wall, and their actions caused the collapse. so you may have a claim against them?

 

 

Is it a party wall? are you sure you own it and are responsible for it.

Is it covered by any insurance? the insurance co. may well inspect and appoint an engineer or surveyor to deal with it.

 

 

I think it would be wise to consult a structural engineer before embarking the rebuild, the adjacent tree and existing roots and future growth would have to be taken into account and they could also deal with the planning issues.

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