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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7676
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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Hello, I want to build an extension to my property but there

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Hello, I want to build an extension to my property but there are public sewer pipes in the way - do I ever the right to ask the local water company to remove them and give them notice to quit?
There are two clauses in the deeds of my property (deeds dated 15/3/1976)...
Sched. 1
2. The right in common as aforesaid to connect into and to use the sewers and main drains on the Estate as laid out constructed and made by the Vendors or to be laid out and constructed and made by the Vendors within 21 years etc.
Sched. 2
1. Excepting and Reserving unto the Vendors and their successors in title owners for the time being of the unsold portion of the Estate the right within 21 years from the date hereof to lay down and construct a drain or drains in or under the property hereby conveyed and a right of entry at all times thereafter to keep in repair and cleanse and maintain and renew the same and to make such connections therewith respectively as they shall from time to time think fit but not so as to do any unnecessary damage in the exercise of such right or to interfere with any building which may have been erected on the property hereby conveyed the Vendors and their successors in title making good any damage occasioned thereby.
Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
Basically, if the pipes under your property have now been adopted by the water authority then they are now public pipes.
This means that you cannot build over them without the consent of the water company. When they give this consent they do so in the form of a formal build-over agreement which outlines the works and the pipes and gives you consent to build the works over the pipes.
Unfortunately, you do not have the right to build over them without consent. Even if the water company were agreeable to the pipes being moved then you would certainly have to pay their fees.
In the first instance you should check the with water company that the pipes that you wish to build over are definitely public pipes. If they are you then need to speak with them about a build over agreement having regard to the specific works which you propose to carry out.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm afraid to say that you haven't actually answered my question - I am well aware of the build over procedure, my question was - do they have an intrinsic right to have a public sewer (foul and surface) running through my garden and do the clauses in my deeds permit that?

The rights you have outlined at sched 2 of your original rights which were reserved over your property in favour of your seller. These include rights in respect of the pipes.
Once the original sellers had constructed the pipes they would then effectively hand them over to the water company in the same way that the estate roads which were constructed would become public highways and transferred to the local authority.
The right to hand them over to the water company would have most likely been included either in the deed from 1976 of the original sale contract for the sale in 1976. If this was the case then, yes, they do have a right to have a public sewer running through your garden.
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for unfortunately confirming my suspicions. Have a good day Smile

You're welcome.
Good luck.
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