I would like to know my rights in this regard.
Basically, I want to instruct my contractor to remove the pipe.
If I leave it in situ, it will interfere with the building works and be more costly and/or risky to move later.
AW has messed me about for the last couple of months....time is of the essence!
There is not evidence that it has been there for 20 or more years. AW is unable to say when it was constructed or (as I mentioned) unable to provide any maintenance or inspection records.
It is not shown on AW's asset plan, they have no evidence of any easement and the none of the conveyances/deeds/epitome of title make any reference to it.
The only evidence that AW has is that I have said there is a structure there.
The sewer does not need to be diverted....I accept that the sewer & manhole covers etc belong to AW....they are shown on the plan (located on the public road) it's the VP I would like to remove which is on my land and joined by a short pipe from the sewer and can be capped off.
All houses are vented these days and it performs no useful purpose.
What risks do I face if I instruct my contractor to remove it?
If the VP is not shown on its own Asset Plan (whereas the Sewers & Manhole Covers are), how can they convince a court that it has been there more than 20 years.
Please see the details below:
Local Land Charge Searches – Con 29 (1994) – Question 2 Drainage Enquiries
Dated 1 June 1995
Reply by Anglian Water
Foul Water Drainage
2.1.1 To the Company’s knowledge, does foul drainage from the property drain to a public sewer – Yes
2.1.2 If yes, does the property drain into the public sewer through
(a) a private drain alone or – Not Known
(b) a private drain and then a private sewer – Not Known
2.4.1 Is any sewer serving, or which is proposed to serve the property the subject of an agreement under section 104 of the Water Industry Act 1991 for the sewer to become vested in the Company as a public sewer – No
Is AW able to rely upon:
"omnia praesumuntur rite et solemniter essa acta"
In your view, would AW win on the balance of probabilities?
Given that it has taken AW some 2 months to acknowledge that the VP can be removed (at my expense) and eventually send me the form required to facilitate this, surely it can be properly argued that they have caused an unnecessary delay which will mean that the Method Statement/Risk Assessment now required (at the time of making the initial request works had not commenced, the foundations are now in and the walls will soon go up) will be more complex and costly.
Surely AW can be held to account for failing to mitigate its/my loss given that the delay was unnecessary and avoidable?
If I make the formal application and agree to pay the fee, am I them free to challenge AW (in court) later?
The £1,000 is just the fee for AW supervising the works.
There will also be the additional cost of my contractor or AW's contractor removing it.
If I am able to prove that it has not been there for 20 years am I able to successfully force AW to remove it or take it down myself?
Does the fact that pretty much all sewerage infrastructure became the responsibility of the Water Utility Companies with effect from 1st Oct 2011 under the Private Sewer Transfer not make a positive outcome unlikely? (as whatever it was/wasn't before does really count for much).
I almost feel defeated by this....sorry to be exhausting your patience!
The VP is on my land and is connected to the Public Sewer by a short pipe.
The Public Sewer carries on down the public road for a short distance and then crosses my property.