Encroachment over council easements

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Land Services Group - easements and rights of way fact sheet 


The provision of a drainage easement gives council the legal right to have free and unrestricted right of entry for the purposes of constructing, replacing, repairing or maintaining any council drainage infrastructure within our easement.

It is our approach to limit damage to infrastructure, and to avoid disputes, inconvenience, damages and costs of reinstatement to both the landowner and Council in the event that works are required within a drainage easement.

If there is a drainage easement in favour of Council on your property, then there may be infrastructure in the form of stormwater/community waste management pipes and/or pits within the easement that is owned by Council.  If there is no existing infrastructure, the easement may still be required for future extension or upgrade works to Council’s drainage network. The drainage easement may also be provided to allow unobstructed overland flow paths for high flows to prevent, or help reduce the incidence of flooding.

The provision of a drainage easement gives Council the legal right to have free and unrestricted right of entry for the purposes of constructing, replacing, repairing or maintaining any Council drainage infrastructure within the easement.

In the event that Council is required to undertake any maintenance, inspection or construction work on its infrastructure, it is the landowner’s responsibility to remove all encroachments over the easement at the landowner’s expense.  Although we use due care in undertaking works within an easement, we are not responsible for any damage to or reinstatement of any damage to, or building works, permanent or non-permanent , constructed on or over a drainage easement.

Accordingly, we do not permit construction of any permanent structures, including footings for permanent structures, eg fences, walls or piers, on or within an easement or encroaching over an easement.

Additionally, temporary structures which may obstruct or redirect the overland flow path where the easement is held for this purpose will also not be permitted.

A landowner is not permitted to alter or interfere with the arrangements upon the land which contains an easement. This includes any variation to the depth or excavation of soil or material within the easement covering any council infrastructure.

Building works of a temporary or non-permanent nature will only be considered in limited or exceptional circumstances and it is advised that a landowner should not rely on the application being approved until an application is assessed.

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