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Enquire about building over easements

An easement is a section of land to which Council, or other nominated agencies or authorities, have rights of access.

Many easements support essential services, including stormwater drainage, sewerage and power infrastructure.  When an easement is obstructed, it prevents Council staff from performing important maintenance work and blocks the flow of stormwater through flow paths. 

Council does not allow habitable structures to be built over an easement but may allow certain temporary, removable or lightweight structures.

If there are easements on the property, and your plans include building over an easement, either:

  • modify your plans or
  • enquire whether your proposed development qualifies for approval.

When we respond to an enquiry, we will provide further instructions regarding whether and how you may apply for approval.

Locate easements and submit an enquiry

Step 1: Check if there are easements on your property

Locate all registered and implied easements on your land.

Refer to your property title to view registered easements. You can order a copy of your property title from Landata.

Contact Dial Before You Dig for the location of underground utilities. The area above and within 1m of underground utilities is an implied easement and is subject to the same building restrictions as registered easements.

Step 2: Locate any access pits on your property

Locate the access pit (manhole) that is used to access underground utilities. If it's hard to find or has been been built or landscaped over, you can get a qualified plumber to locate it.

Step 3: Check if your plans impact easements or access pits

Refer to your plans to see whether your works include building over an easement. If possible, modify your plans so that the easement is not obstructed by the building works.

Make sure that access pits are clear at all times.

Step 4: Submit a build over easements enquiry

If you are unable to modify your plans so that easements are clear, submit an enquiry to see whether the proposed development qualifies for approval.

Submit an enquiry

The response may be:

  • a go-ahead to apply for approval, with instructions on how to make the application
  • a go-ahead to apply for approval, but with a request to modify the design before making an application, or
  • an explanation of why the proposed development over an easement cannot be considered for approval.
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