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Building over an easement

In most instances, easement restrictions are placed on a parcel of land at the time of subdivision to facilitate provision of services by service authorities. The landowner has use of the land surface as long as such use does not interfere with service provision and operational requirements of service authorities.

What is an easement?

An easement is a defined area of land registered on a land title that gives Council, or other authorities, access rights through your property. Typically we use these rights for the maintenance, installation, replacement or upgrades of essential drainage infrastructure.

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

What is required when applying for a build over easement?

  • Legible copy of property title, including easement classification.
  • Written consent from all statutory authorities and parties that have rights over the easement (this may include Melbourne Water, South East Water or neighbouring properties)
  • Plans and cross sections showing:
    • Dimensioned drawings showing the structure(s) type and their footings, proposed to be constructed, and its/their position relative to the easement/drain.
    • Precise footing details of the proposed structure.
    • Slab poured and reinforced independently of the footings.

Footings of the proposed structure parallel to the easement must be:

  • Founded at a minimum of 1200mm below the natural surface; or
  • 100mm below invert of any existing drain or meet the angle of repose for a minimum trench width 150mm horizontally from and 150mm deeper than an existing drain.
  • All concrete footings constructed shall not impinge on the easement, more than 450mm from any title boundary.
  • A 300mm clearance must be present from any drainage assets.

Items that do not require a building over easement permit

  • Grassed areas, minor plantings or garden beds with surround up to 200mm high
  • Easily removable minor pavers or paths up to 100mm thick
  • Easily removed light-weight or temporary items with low weight bearing e.g. removable trampoline or BBQ
  • An existing timber paling or picket property fence being replaced (any footings must continue missing Council assets)
  • We do not encourage placing of certain vegetation particularly large trees or those with intrusive root systems over easements or near Council assets. Roots size and growth for tree stability or those in search of water may cause damage to drains or cause blockages.

Please read the building over Council easement guidelines below:

Building over council easement guidelines (DOC, 316.00KB)

Building over council easement guidelines (PDF, 329.97KB)

For more information

Contact the Asset Management Department on (03) 9599 4444 during business hours.