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Rear Fence destroyed by negligent development

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3 years ago, The bungalow whose Back Garden backs onto my Back Garden was cleared & 3 houses built in place of it. Due to the height of the road they were accessed from, the ground level has been raised by 400mm, with soil up against the other side of the back-garden Fence. The fence was pre-existing, & not replaced during development. The fence & posts are now all badly rotten, & have failed completely. Prior to this, they were all sound.


I spoke to the owner of the Building contractor who built the houses, & he advised they were told to leave the fence by the developer/land owner, even though the other 2 fences (either side) were replaced. I have approached the guy who developed the properties, to request that he pay for a retaining wall, as I have been told that a fence & gravel-boards will not hold the earth back on the rear neighbours' side, & this is going to cost a few thousand pounds. (quotes obtained by landscapers) 


Can anyone advise where I stand legally, as the developer has said he doesn't accept responsibility, now that he's sold the house. (sold in late 2016). I would like to know my legal position here. 


I have obtained land-registry plans for the new property, & there is a strip at the end of his Garden (between his & mine) of 1-1.5m, which he doesn't own. This has been confirmed by the Architect, & the owner of the building company who built the houses. Both our plans say nothing to define who owns the boundary, no markers at all. My place was built in 1994, the pre-existing bungalow was built in the 50's, & the new places were finished in 2016.

I have prepared a letter to send, which details the fact that the rotting of the fence was caused by the earth piled up against the other side of it, & that a retaining wall is now required. The letter will provide him a period of time to provide a solution to this issue. 


I also tried to locate the topography for the site, however (curiously) it was never added to the planning portal of my local gov. website. I requested this from the Architects, who refused to provide it. 


I'm aware that the statute of Limitations for negligence, under the law of tort, provides a 6-year period, which we are well within. 


If anybody can give any advice here, I'm researching MCOL & the small-claims route in the county court, if no compromise can be found. 

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You're going to give them a deadline to provide a solution to the issue. What are you proposing to do if the deadline expires without any action being taken?


Who owns the fence? Any chance that you could post up some kind of reasonably clear diagram

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can the soil be lowered in this 1-1.5m strip without damaging their property? If so suggest this to them along with them paying for say half of the fence (on the assumption that it wasnt brand new before they piled soil against it). they could put gabions in there whilst the soil is being carted off and that will be cheaper than brickwork

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