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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello, firstly can you confirm that you are a british solicitor. I

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Hello, firstly can you confirm that you are a british solicitor.
I own an acre of land that I have just got planning permission on to built an eco bungalow. The site is SSSI and a conservation area so we are doing shallow "raft foundations". After planning was granted shockingly I discovered an old legal document (the land had previously belonged to my mother) dated 1952 giving permission from a previous owner to build a sewer that is clearly marked on a plan. We went hunting and found a manhole cover hidden in long grass, lifted the over the found a brick chamber 9metres deep. After discussions with Welsh Water and them investigation they confirmed that it is a main sewer.

Obviously my architect consulted with WelshWater and worked with their maps. It transpired that their maps are completely wrong and the sewer is not where they said it was but right under my proposed bungalow!

They have also said that they would not give me a build over agreement as it is a new built property and with it being so deep it would be too risky.

As grass paddock the land was worth £25,000 and I recently had the building plot valued at £200,000. As you can imaging there is a huge amount of money at stake. If I cant get a build over then my plot is worthless!

What on earth can I do and what are my rights. Surely there should be some comeback to the Water company but they say that they put a clause on all their maps saying that they cannot guarantee their accuracy. What a cop out. If these people don't even know where their own sewers are how on earth can they operate.


Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

I can confirm that I am a barrister located in the UK. The site is hosted in the United States.

How much did you pay for the land?

Did you ask the previous owner that sold to you about sewers et cetera?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the land was gifted to me from my mother who had owned it for 30 years. She found the old doc in some old papers from her old house that she has now sold. she tells me that she always thought there was a drain on the field somewhere but always thought that it was a land drain. There is another chamber just outside the curtilage of the paddock that is also on land that I own and the drain runs in a straight line from A to B between the manhole covers directly under the bungalow

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no one isn't replying to me are you still working on this

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well what a rubbish service I just hope you aren't going to take my money.

I will opt out since you are displeased.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

I see the expert has opted out - do you still need help? Please also bear in mind this is not an instant live service.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well yes I would like an opinion please thank you. I wasn't very pleased with the last response, in fact there wasn't one. I appreciate that this may be quite complex but I just need to know if I have any redress either from the water company, or indeed perhaps my architect, who I feel should halve done ore initial investigations.

In short the water company won't let you build, have I understood?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes, the sewer manager has come out and said there would be no point applying for a "build over" agreement and incurring that expense but it would almost certainly be refused. My independent engineer was at the site meeting and said that would be the case.

You have to invoke a formal complaints procedure. You need to write to them with the surveyor report and set out your complaint and ask that it be investigated under the corporate complaints procedure.

If that does not assist then you can complain to the Water Council. They are independent and can offer the service for free. Their website is:

If you are not happy with their response then yo can complain to the Regulator. They may be able to investigate for you. Their website is:

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sorry for late response computer down. Yes thanks I will contact both those organisations to get further advice. There must be some redress somewhere and I certainly don't want to sue my architect which has been suggested by a few people.

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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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