Concerns over party wall and chimney breast

I thought this may be a good place to get some response to my concerns over some work my new neighbour is having done.
I live in an end of terrace. The house next door has been bought recently and is subject to extensive renovation. I was concerned about some banging on the party wall and have just come back from looking at what is occurring.
I found that amongst other work the a chimney breast in one room (not my party wall) has been removed. On further investigation I found that the young lad (non-english speaking which doesn't help) was attempting something similar in a room which shares a party wall and stack with my property.
I have brought a temporary stop to the work while awaiting the owner to contact me.
Anyone been in a similar situation or have sensible advice about the best way to proceed with this. I have no desire to get off on the wrong foot with my new neighbour but obviously I can't allow work to continue until I am sure it is safe, which at the moment I am convinced it is not.
I have taken a quick look at some relevant docs and I would assume this work comes under both the Party wall act 1996 and also requires building control authorization.
Comments and advice welcomed.
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"Phnix" <mindyouownbusiness> wrote

Yes. Your neighbour is in breach of this legislation. He should have appointed a Surveyor to send you the correct notification and details of the work proposed, and giving minimum 2 months notice before starting work. You can then appoint your own Surveyor to safeguard your interest, normally at his expense, and the two Surveyors agree on the work to be done and publish an agreement, called an Award.
It sounds like there may be a risk of damage to your property, not to mention your Health & Safety, so it is important you do something. It's good you have been able to stop the work temporarily but sadly the Act does not itself have any teeth to keep it stopped. I would recommend you notify the neighbour he is in breach of the Act as quickly as possible and ask what he intends to do about it. Hopefully he will be sensible and agree to stop the work while getting the correct procedure and paperwork sorted out. (It really helps your long-term relationship with him if you can be sensible here, act promptly and not force maximum delays etc).
But if he is determined to carry on regardless then you need to see a solicitor. It's a civil, not a criminal offence, so the Police will not act in these cases. To stop the work you'll need to get a court injunction, which costs money. See what the solicitor says.

Yes probably. This might be a more effective way of getting the work halted temporarily, but again Building Control can't force him to stop work except through the court. (They can if he is causing a Dangerous Structure, but you don't want it to get that far!).
I've given a very brief run down. By all means mail me if you need more help.
Peter
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion, Phnix <mindyouownbusiness> wrote:

Head off down to to your local council offices - as soon as they re-open after the holiday - and have a word with one of the Building Control Officers. They'll tell you what needs to be done - and will also take a direct interest if the relevant building regs notification hasn't been given by the new owner.
--
Cheers,
Set Square
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"Phnix" <mindyouownbusiness> wrote in

"Non-english speaking". <chuckle> How many Asian and refugee families have been grilled alive because they used a nail in place of the fuse that kept blowing? I guess accidently demolishing half a terrace would be the next step up :D
john
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