Yes I know precisely what I am saying. I realise it is a pain and expensive if the neighbours choose to use their own surveyor but if my neighbours were doing a dig out I would not be happy to rely on their chosen surveyor.
Yes in theory a joint surveyor should work impartially for both parties but who is to say the chosen surveyor is completely honest/impartial (sorry to all those who are, but I'm sure they vary like any profession) and ultimately it is the people building who are paying them.
I will amend my advice: I would be happy to use a joint surveyor, but ONLY IF it was a surveyor that I had chosen myself (not one chosen by the people doing the building work).
You really don't speak to your neighbours because they chose to exercise their legal right to have their own surveyor? I appreciate it cost you £3000, but how much did the building project cost overall, I imagine a huge multiple of that? I agree the legislation is not great but in the face of some of the horror stories about dig outs and the effect on neighbours you can hardly blame someone for trying to protect themselves in a perfectly legal way. (Or perhaps in your case, you can...