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Potential for catastrophe in building alterations - a question of responsibility Peter Mawer of Bude in Corn wall has written about a most interesting case where sequential building alterations could have led to the development of a potentially disastrous situation: A most extraordinary circumstance has come to light during a survey of a large shop. The implications are so devastating, I feel compelled to pass on the information. It is simply this: -If a terrace of shops is developed over a number of years from a row of domestic dwellings and takes the form of extended walls and raised roofs and if the landlord sees fit to use party walls to support the floors and roof and if he removes all the cross-walls except the rear wall-the buildings become like houses on stilts with little or no lateral stability. (See Fig 1.) Verulam