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Breaking building regulations

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  • Breaking building regulations

    Please can someone advise me, I’m at my wits end.

    In 2016 there was a landslide on the other side of my fence at the end of my garden (backing onto Network Rails land - there is a 100ft drop down to the railway line, which now has ballast bags along it to protect the line from further landslides).

    This was exacerbated by a constant flow of water from my garden, thought to be a broken pipe. Network Rail served an order on me to fix the ‘broken’ pipe, the council financed the costs for an excavation to repair the pipe (as I was not able to afford this and had no home insurance), with the intention on recovering the costs when I sold my home. On digging the hole which was 2 ft wide, 4 ft long and 8-10 ft deep, they found the pipe, it wasn’t broken at all, it was an open surface water sewer pipe that had been ‘pushed’ through the boundary of my fence (apx 2ft) when they built the Close (6 houses) next to my property in the 80’s. The pipe should have linked with an open culvert, I can only assume that the previous owners of my property wouldn’t give them permission to cross their land, so instead they broke building reg’s and just buried an open pipe.

    The drainage company who did the excavation, stated they’d never come across this in all their years of business.

    A week later, on asking the council for a copy of the report, suddenly all charges against my property were dropped, I was advised that this wasn’t my fault and was further told that I wasn’t entitled to any further information… oh and could they come back to fill the hole in, to which I politely told them that the excavation was going to remain there until they fixed the problem and I wasn’t just going to allow them to bury the problem.

    I’ve since seen a solicitor but am very confused as he’s ‘asking me’ who I need to make my claim against, surely they should be advising me this???

    There are various parties that have been involved:

    Firstly Southern Water who initially rejected any responsibility stating it was an open culvert (there are no drawings available for this pipe work, or so we’ve been told and nobody had inspected the pipe at the time).

    Second is Network Rail, although the water flow has attributed to the landslide it doesn’t cross or come into contact with their land, however, they cannot repair the embankment and reinforce it until this issue is resolved, so it affects them greatly with the real threat of another landslide.

    Thirdly, there’s the residence from the 6 houses within the close built in the 80’s, although I feel that they were not aware of this issue until the event happened and shouldn’t be held accountable for the breach of a directive.

    Finally there’s the council, who would have been involved in the development of the Close, dealing with planning permission and authorising the blueprints and ensuring building regulations were met, or not as the case presents. I feel that they are the ones responsible and who I should be fighting against to get this fixed.

    The landslide isn’t the only issue now, my garden is constantly flooded at the end, even with the hole filled with water and the dry weather isn’t enough to dry it out. My garden used to be level but dips are appearing everywhere and although the garden is apx 150ft long, when the weathers bad, the grass area becomes ‘jelly like’ near the property. All this water has caused damp issues in my home, black mould growing everywhere, I’ve had to scrap wooden furniture as it started growing algae on it, clothes and shoes were boned during the winter where mould was growing on them. I had a new kitchen installed at the beginning of last year and it already has mould in the cupboards. I’m desperate to leave here but don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel and would really appreciate some advice.

    Thank you in anticipation of your help.

    Best regards

    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi TAS095

    From what you say the blame lays with the council. I think you're brief summary has been good.

    What you need to do is send the council a SAR, they have 30 days to respond, they will provide all the Data they hold on this situation, but specify that is what you want. You can send a SAR to all parties involved, the excavation etc.


    You might need a report from an expert surveyors on this matter (but you have a good understand of what's happened), that won't cost much, every Council has a department that deals with public liability claims, e.g. https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/about-co...gainst-council (find your council's webpage, make a claim).

    Other members might provide further advise, so no harm in sending the SAR first.
    Last edited by echat11; 22nd July 2021, 06:25:AM.


    • #3
      Send a SAR to all parties. Instruct an independent surveyor to advise who is the guilty party it could be one or all. It’s not your solicitors job to tell you who to sue, I’m sure they could but it depends how big your pocket is because getting a solicitor to commission reports wont be cheap and its something you can do yourself.


      • #4
        Thank you all for your sound advise, I will definitely go down the SARS route, you mention ‘commissioning reports’, what reports would I need and who would I need to contact to get them?. Thank you again, extremely grateful for your advice.


        • #5
          Originally posted by TAS095 View Post
          Thank you all for your sound advise, I will definitely go down the SARS route, you mention ‘commissioning reports’, what reports would I need and who would I need to contact to get them?. Thank you again, extremely grateful for your advice.
          Wait until you have gathered all the information from the SAR's, then select the nearest 2 / 3 experts to you (expert in civil engineering, check their CV's) (not unsurprisingly they charge for their travel time) from the list, once selected send a brief summary of your case, get the quote for their Report (the Report will help you further establish where the fault lays).


          Last edited by echat11; 23rd July 2021, 18:33:PM.


          • #6
            That’s really helpful thank you.


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