What is an easement?

An easement is a section of land that may be used by an electricity supplier, water supplier and or a telecommunications supplier for a specific purpose. Most properties have an easement registered on the title.

There are two types of easements: regulatory easements and private easements.

  • Regulatory easements are held either by a Council or by a service authority as specified above.
  • Private easements are created to allow a landowner to have access over a neighbour’s land. A common example is a shared driveway.

Sewerage and drainage easements are the most common types of easements held by Council. Drainage easements are usually sited along the side or rear of the property and may contain drains which service a number of adjacent properties.

Obtaining consent to build over an easement

Firstly, check your title to see who has the authority over the easement. If you want to erect some form of building work over a regulatory easement, you must first obtain consent from whoever has the authority over the easement.

Please ring to discuss with Council before applying for a consent to build over an easement.

If Council and other authorities share the easement, written permission from the other relevant authorities is required when applying for consent to build over the easement.

Note: Council is not likely to consent to building works over drains or sewers unless there is long-term access to that asset for maintenance and eventual replacement.

Any consent Council provides is likely to include conditions designed to protect the long-term integrity of the asset.

Submission of a Report and Consent application form/s with the required documents and applicable fee can be processed in the one transaction through Council's online building portal here. Registration is only required once to access the portal.


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