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Does Builder need permission to connect new house to sewer on my land?

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Doug71

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Sorry if I get the terminology wrong but here goes.

A developer is building 5 houses on land behind my house. Today they dug a trench up to my boundary directly in line with a drain cover which you use to access the sewer on my land. I can only assume the trench is for the drains/sewer from the new houses and they intend to connect to the sewer on my land. To get to the sewer/manhole cover they will need to dig up about 15m of my drive.

The houses are practically finished and all sold.

Does the builder need my permission or does he have a right to connect to the sewer? I have been googling public and private sewers and not sure what mine is classed as, two properties use it but originally it was one.

I will speak to the developer if I manage to see him tomorrow but I am out early and his is often not about anyway only contractors.

I just picture coming home tomorrow evening to find a big hole in my drive.

Thanks for any advice.
 

topchippyles

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If your sewer is linked into a main sewer and supplying 2 houses on private land then yes he would need permission to access it. Speak to your water utility supplier as they own and maintain the sewers. Nobody can just come on to your property and start digging it up.
 

bjm

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I would have assumed they would need your consent but you might find your local water utility company there instead, who may not need consent, to finish the job?? Just speculation but it seems odd that you haven't been involved in some discussion before now?
 

Cabinetman

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Most perturbing Doug, I really can’t imagine though that he has left it this late to connect to the mains drains. It’s normally the first thing they do. And as far as I’m aware they do not have the right to go onto your land. You might though if he has left this late be able to get a lot of money out of him ha ha. Sorry don’t build your hopes up!
 

Cordy

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That happened to me in the 1980s
A new build next door wanted to connect into my drainage system to save them a lot of £££ and time
My smart solicitor got them to pay me a few hundred pounds :)
 

Spectric

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Hi

Make sure both the local council is informed and your utility company who are responsible for the sewers. They may decide that you cannot connect an extra five houses into the sewer system at that point and insist on a connection elswhere. the developer is probably trying to do it on the cheap and will not care if they leave you swiming in waste due to not enough capacity or incorrect levels.
 

Blackswanwood

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It is possible that if the owner of the land being developed now originally owned the land your house is on that they retained a right to connect services across your land. This will be in the title documents for your house and would (or should) have been pointed out by your solicitor when you bought the house.

If they don’t and want to connect over your land I would suggest that you first agree in writing that matters will negotiated via your solicitor with them committing to meet your legal fees in addition to the payment to reflect the value of you agreeing to let them make the connection. Whatever you do don’t just let them do it for a brown paper envelope of cash. It leaves you open to problems if the work is shoddy and potentially if you sell your house.
 

Yojevol

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I know from my own experience that your water utility will have a maintenance responsibility for the drains from another property which are on your land. My neighbour's drain joins ours at an inspection chamber in our garden and the combined outflow then goes to the sewer which runs under the road. Our system is old and blockages and leaks are frequent, particularly on my neighbour's bit, which means Severn-Trent have to come and sort it. If there is a problem on our bit then we have to take responsibility. S-T may do it if we ask them nicely but we have to pay.
Your new development must have all the water supply and drainage agreed before connection can be made. I'm sure this would mean consultation with you.
I would start asking some questions.
Brian
 

Doug71

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Some good points, thank you gents.

I have just been looking at the Planning Portal as I knew original plans showed the drains going in a different direction but found a variation of plans submitted at a later date showing it coming onto my land :(

I shall phone Yorkshire Water in the morning and take it from there, might have to leave my van parked in a strategic position :rolleyes:
 

Cordy

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Might be a good idea tomorrow morning to contact the builder too --
Good luck !
 

topchippyles

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The council will also have a part to play as it will be shown and stated on the planning applications and drawings.
 

Sheptonphil

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That happened to me in the 1980s
A new build next door wanted to connect into my drainage system to save them a lot of £££ and time
My smart solicitor got them to pay me a few hundred pounds :)
Two years ago when the drainage had to cross our land the developer approached us and we agreed to nigh on 10k for the right to dig our land up, instal drainage to main sewer and then reinstate the ground as before they started as well. It was a case of pay the ransom or don’t develop the adjoining land. It paid for a good holiday and a new lathe.

if they want to come on your land, don’t underestimate the value to them or the effect on the likelihood of selling houses with no drainage. It doesn’t matter if it’s 15m or 150m, they need the access, think thousands, not hundreds.
 

Rorschach

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Two years ago when the drainage had to cross our land the developer approached us and we agreed to nigh on 10k for the right to dig our land up, instal drainage to main sewer and then reinstate the ground as before they started as well. It was a case of pay the ransom or don’t develop the adjoining land. It paid for a good holiday and a new lathe.

if they want to come on your land, don’t underestimate the value to them or the effect on the likelihood of selling houses with no drainage. It doesn’t matter if it’s 15m or 150m, they need the access, think thousands, not hundreds.
While I agree that there should be both permission and fair compensation for access to land I think holding the developer to ransom is morally wrong and you should be ashamed of profiteering like that.
 

Robin Whitfield

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While I agree that there should be both permission and fair compensation for access to land I think holding the developer to ransom is morally wrong and you should be ashamed of profiteering like that.
Whilst I would generally agree to this, if it is indeed (as it seems to be in this case) a situation where an assumption has been made without actually talking to the landowner then significantly more compensation is called for than if they'd asked nicely when the plans were drawn up in the first place.
 

Sheptonphil

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While I agree that there should be both permission and fair compensation for access to land I think holding the developer to ransom is morally wrong and you should be ashamed of profiteering like that.
With the mess they made doing the job across 150m of our land, the inconvenience of disrupting our lives for two weeks and parking heavy machines on our land for that time, I feel no shame and have no regrets, and I do have morals. They bought the land knowing full well they had to have access to our land to convert it from pasture to housing. For the eight homes built it was a very small cost per unit expense and fully budgeted for in the scheme. Why should they make hundreds of thousands by relying on other’s goodwill.
 

Lons

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Not the same but when a new estate was due to be built in the village I got a visit from the LA saying they had been contracted by the water company to put a surface water sewer across the bottom of my land as well as that of my adjoining neighbour, it was firmly pointed out that I had no right to refuse, that was well over 20 years ago and the water company graciously offered me £125 compensation for crossing 65 metres of my field. It was clear this was the cheapest route option available to them but I told them to get stuffed and my neighbour followed my lead.

We appointed a local land agent to negotiate on our behalf, all of his and solicitors costs to be covered by the water company who tried every trick in the book to force us to accept next to nothing so we fought back, held meetings and charged them £25 an hour each for time spent, recorded and photographed every detail and though it took 12 months got the whole thing reinstated, field drained as they'd cut through the original, all our expenses and I got £7500 in additional compensation.
I discussed the matter later with a water board official who said 99% of people give in to the pressure and there's only an odd stubborn bas**rd like me who doesn't :sneaky: so they win financially overall.
 

topchippyles

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While I agree that there should be both permission and fair compensation for access to land I think holding the developer to ransom is morally wrong and you should be ashamed of profiteering like that.
Its called a ransom strip and all land owners use it so dont talk pineapples
 

Lons

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Its called a ransom strip and all land owners use it so dont talk pineapples
Exactly.
The same estate I mentioned needed entrance access across parish council land from the main road and they got £260,000 from the developers for that ransom strip.
 
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