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Building over an easement

Restrictions apply to what can be built over or near an easement or council drain. This is so authorities can get access to provide or upgrade essential services if required. Find out what restrictions apply to properties with easements and when you need a permit.

What is an easement?

An easement is a designated area of land that gives councils, or other authorities, access rights through your property to maintain, install, replace or upgrade essential services infrastructure like drains, gas pipes and data cables. If you have an easement on your property it will be clearly marked on the certificate of title.

What am I allowed to do around an easement?

You can use the land for minor, temporary or easily removeable uses without needing a permit, such as: 

  • lawn, minor plantings or garden beds with borders up to 200mm high 
  • minor pavers or paths up to 100mm thick
  • light-weight, temporary items such as a removable trampoline or BBQ
  • replacing an existing timber paling or picket fence (footings must continue missing public assets).

What restrictions apply near an easement?

You will need a permit for anything that might possibly interfere with service provision or access by service authorities, like building over or near an easement. 

When is a building over easement permit required?

If you are the property owner with an easement or a Council drain on your property, and you are planning to build over or near that easement or drain, you will require consent before doing so. To receive consent, a building over easement application is required to be filled out in order for the proposal to be assessed.

Apply to build over an easement

Vegetation and large trees with intrusive root systems that may damage or block drains should not be planted near or over easements.

See our building over easement guidelines for detailed information about what is permitted, the permit application process and building specifications.

Building over easement guidelines (PDF, 329.97KB)

Building over easement guidelines (DOC, 316.00KB)