Easements / Stormwater

If you intend to build over an easement (actual or implied), you must first obtain consent from any service authorities who have rights to your easement (such as TasWater, NBN or other) and then obtain a building permit for the project.

Generally, if an easement contains public stormwater system, we will not give permission to build over the easement. This is because we need to be able to access the pipe at all times for maintenance/replacement purposes or it may cause flooding of downhill properties.

What is an easement

An easement is an area of land, or part of an allotment, reserved by law for a specific purpose, which may include:

  • Public stormwater system
  • Municipal services
  • Natural gas lines power and telephone lines
  • Water and sewerage mains
  • Right of way/passage.

If a public stormwater system has been constructed within your property but there is no easement on your title at the same location, an implied easement exists around the drain.

Before you build or place a structure on, near or above an easement or public stormwater system, you need to:

  1. Check if you can do it according to our guidelines
  2. Get permissions from all service authorities that have rights to the easement
  3. Apply for a build over easement permit.

Usually, the only types of buildings or works that we permit to be constructed over an easement or public stormwater system are those considered to be temporary structures or works. This means they can be easily removed from the easement or public stormwater system should access be required. The exempt structures are listed in Section 4 of the Urban Drainage (General) Regulations 2016. Any additional cost for Council to undertake maintenance or works as a result of temporary structures will be carried by the owner.

How easements affect your property

Even if you own the land where an easement (actual or implied) is located, the authorities who maintain the services it contains have the right to control how that land may be used.

You are restricted in:

  • What you can build
  • The building location
  • The type of footings
  • Removal or placement of filling.

The relevant service authorities can also excavate the easement if they need to work on their pipe or assets.

Find out if your property has easements

Check your Land Title to find out if you have an easement, and if so you need to find out which services the easement contains.

If you do not have a copy of your Title, contact the Land Information System Tasmania (the List).

To find out the location of any public stormwater system you can request a printout from Council’s GIS system showing existing network near your property (subject to a fee).

For sewerage and water pipe information, you must contact TasWater.

Apply to build over an easement

Once you have read the Build Over Easement Guidelines (PDF) to ensure your project meets the criteria and received consent from all applicable service authorities you can lodge a Build Over Easement permit application.

Prior to lodging your application, please ensure you have all the required documentation including:

  • Service authority consent forms from all authorities that have assets within the easement (eg TasWater),
  • A detailed description of what you plan to build,
  • Full and recent copy of the land title, and
  • Copies of any preliminary plans, including:
    • Site plan (1:100)
    • Elevation plans (1:20)
    • Footing details (1:20)
    • Cross sections of the easement
    • Show angle of repose if there are any assets within the easement.

Once you have these documents, please click on the link below to lodge your application.

In the event a general manager’s consent is given to build over easement it may be subjected to Council’s standard Part 5 Agreement. Please make sure to read the agreement before submitting your application.

A Build over Easement permit will be subject to a fee from July 2021.

If a Part 5 Agreement is required as part of your Build over Easement consent, the owner must bear all costs associated with the preparation and registration of the agreement, including an additional Council fee.

Build over easement application form