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Chimney Breast Removal and Party Wall Agreements

Hi guys,

Need your advice about a property I am due to purchase over the coming weeks. It’s a terraced property in London and one of the first things I want to do is remove the chimney breasts from the downstairs dinning room and the upstairs second bedroom. Our neighbours who share the wall have removed their chimney breasts already and I have spoken with the local councils buildings regulation officer who assures me gallows bracket support in the loft will be enough and I will not need to put in a beam/RSJ support.

Do I need to apply for a party wall agreement before starting the works? If so how long does this take as I am keen to start asap. Any advice/experience appreciated.

Thanks!

9 Comments

Why not ask your new neighbours as they have already done this?

Technically yes, but if the neighbour has already done it, why not just nip round and say you're thinking of doing the same and see what they say. You'll be ok if they're ok.

Original Poster

That's what I'd like to do ideally, just worried about not having anything in writing prior to starting!

Banned

If the neighbour has already removed their breast then you may not be able to use gallows brackets as some fixings go through into the neighboring Brest for strength....likewise you could expose and weaken their brackets fixings buy removing your Brest....did you read the link I posted.
Edited by: "slamdunkin" 1st Oct 2010

Original Poster

That's what I'd like to do ideally, just worried about not having anything in writing prior to starting!

Original Poster

Yeah I did, I saw that link before I posted the original message via google. I thought I would have to put an RSJ in but the building planner at the council confirmed with their engineer that gallows brackets were enough, just have to submit a buildings reg application and they will check the work when its done. He told be to leave as much chimney in the attick as I could.

Banned

Even if you do get an agreement in writing signed by you and you neighbour, if you don't have a structural survey done and your method of support is insufficient and doesn't comply with the regs required for that wall thickness and weight of chimney in loft...they can still sue your ass

edit
Didn't see you last post....did the planner send his engineer out to do a physical inspection.
Edited by: "slamdunkin" 1st Oct 2010

Original Poster

no, but i challenged him on the phone when he said it was ok to use brackets as I had read on the internet that you needed to put a beam in. He said he would check with the engineer and call me back and when he did he said the engineer said it was still fine to use brackets but that i had to leave the chimney length long in the attic. Hopefully itl be ok!
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