If you are considering purchasing a property that is built over sewer lines, then it is important you consider the implications.
Approvals and requirements
In the Lower Hunter region, property built over sewer lines requires the approval of Hunter Water. Hunter Water requires applications for all property development over or adjacent to one of their assets. The area adjacent to an asset is referred to as the zone of influence and is usually 1.5 metres either side of the main. Despite not being located directly over an asset, the load of property built within a zone of influence may still affect the asset, and as such requires approval by Hunter Water.
Any stand-alone house or structures, such as a swimming pool, located over or within the zone of influence of a sewer main will require a build over asset application. Whilst applications may be successful, they are often subject to certain conditions, such as the placement of piers under the proposed structure to ensure access to the sewer main is maintained. Therefore, if you are considering further development on a property, it is important to consider the need for approval.
If your development is over or within the zone of influence of a manhole/maintenance structure, a Hunter Water easement, sewer rising main, water main or sewer point of connection then you will not be able to construct or develop the property.
Furthermore, if you are considering purchasing a property built near or over Hunter Water assets then you may want to consider the potential disruptions that may ensue if any maintenance works are required.
How to mitigate the risks
If purchasing a property, it is important to ensure that any relevant sewer mains are identified and confirm that the appropriate approval has been granted. This can be done through requesting a service location plan from Hunter Water and by obtaining a section 47 certificate on the property which will show all relevant rates and water charges owing on a property.
If you are seeking to develop property located over or adjacent to assets held by Hunter Water, then a build over asset application must be lodged.
Should I purchase a property built over sewer lines?
Whilst purchasing a property built over sewer lines does require some further consideration, the team at Burgess Thomson can ensure any decision is made with all the relevant information in hand. Burgess Thomson lawyers are highly experienced in navigating this process and can ensure due diligence is adhered to by ordering the correct searches and discussing any relevant findings with you.
Book a consultation to discuss your property purchase with our team of conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors.