The question on everybody’s mind is who are the party wall surveyors that were involved with the Chelsea basement construction. Those of you that are familiar with my recent PhD research https://apaproperty.squarespace.com/config/pages/558ff70be4b0e5749729ff9f will know that the focus of the research related to the interpretation and application of the section 7 (4) veto when special foundations are engaged.
Not unsurprisingly, the decision of HHJ Bailey in Chaturachinda v Fairholme is at the centre of that research, with respect to the learned judge (now retired), it has always been my position that the decision was flawed and wrong in law. Furthermore, the position adopted by Alistair Redler https://delvapatmanredler.co.uk/about-us/ as the third surveyor within his award created an absurdity when the proposed that a mass concrete strip beneath the basement created the foundation, and ignored the structural function of the reinforced concrete structure.
His award and indeed the decision handed down by HH J Bailey, had a profound effect on the basement construction industry, effectively creating an open doors approach that went behind adjoining owner’s property rights both within the act and at common law. It is in my view a disastrous judgement with substantial consequences upon property owners.
It has been my position that it was only a matter of time before there were another catastrophic failure and potential loss of life and or limb. A disaster waiting to happen, with striking similarities to the tragic Grenfell tragedy https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40301289 which is like a timebomb, quietly ticking away with tragic consequences.
The recent Chelsea house collapse fortunately did not include loss of life or limb. For that, every person involved should be breathing a sigh of relief.
Notwithstanding, the inevitable litigation that is going to follow, and I suspect that negligence claims against the various engineers, architects and party wall surveyors are inevitable, and quite rightly so. This disastrous incident demonstrates everything that is wrong with the party wall community, and interpretation of this board piece of legislation.
The party wall surveyors involved in this case should be very worried indeed, given that on a number of occasions I have dispelled the misconceived myth http://apaproperty.com/blog/2019/7/28/rics-surveyors-indemnity-insurers-pay-up-2019 the surveyors can’t be sued under their professional indemnity insurance policy for negligence or breach of duty of care etc. Party wall surveyors do not have immunity in the same way as for example adjudicators or arbitrators, irrespective of the fact that they are administering quasi- judicial procedures.
the thread of this blog is the question who are the party wall surveyors, I have heard a rumour and I stress it is only a rumour and therefore alleged but not proven that Mr Alistair Redler of Delva Patman Redler http://apaproperty.com/blog/2020/11/12/delva-patman-redler-llp-v-d-franses-2020-county-court-money-claims-centre-g09yji98 is one of the surveyors.
I again reiterate this is a rumour and I wish to bring it to Alistair Redler’s http://apaproperty.com/blog/2018/1/9/alistair-redler-frics-senior-partner-at-delva-patman attention so that he can have an opportunity to respond to this blog confirming that he is not one of the surveyors (if indeed that is the position). Indeed, if any of the surveyors involved want to come forward and share their thoughts as to why the works were not prohibited under the section 7 (4) I would of course be interested to hear their thoughts and rationale behind the decision.