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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 27-09-2019, 19:10 Thread Starter
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Any legal minds out there? Property matters.

We, as some may know, are self building a bungalow on land at the rear of our house.

During the digging of the footings we came across a 4 inch water main crossing the middle of the site. All work has stopped to sort it out.

Anglian Water were contacted about the matter. We were advised that they could divert the water main around the new building. The cost for this service would be £15,419.94. They would dig all the trenches, supply and lay the pipes make all the connections etc.
After picking ourselves up we asked if we could employ our own contractors to undertake the bulk of the work with AW joining the pipes when necessary. The reply has just come back.
I paraphrase - Yes we can employ our own contractors to dig the trenches and lay all the pipes. AW must, however, connect the old pipe to the new pipe and test the pressure etc. The cost for this connection service would be £14,148.98"

Anyone know if they can get away with this?

Someone has suggested that the pipe belonging to AW is on our land and that we should check if they have the legal right to be there. There is nothing on our deeds, as far as we know, about any wayleave or easement. We did have one for an electricity pylon but nothing for water mains.

Am in shock
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 27-09-2019, 20:10
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We had a gas main running under our house to a gas meter inside. We wanted the gas meter put outside which would have cost. So we called the gas board and said we smell gas. They came and renewed the pipe to an outside meter free.!

Maybe you can just bridge it or cause it to leak?

Ray.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 27-09-2019, 20:51 Thread Starter
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We did think of that, Ray, but we were told that they charge you for breaking the pipe and then just come and repair it
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 27-09-2019, 23:04
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What would be the potential consequences of simply burying it deep in solid concrete? That way it is unlikely to break, but if it does AW would be aware of a leak but unable to locate it, so may bridge along acceptable route.

I do not know, it is not a problem I have ever faced, the only run in I had with the electricity company who had a way leave for a wire stay for a pole outside our garden. We wanted to build a patio, dug it out and asked them to move it.

They said they MIGHT be able to do it in a few months...... we declined their kind offer and simply rang back to say the pole was wobbling as the stay was no longer deeply embedded and the old railway sleeper section was on the surf. We said if the pole went, it would block the road, cut off the power to part of the village and bring down the telephone lines.

They were round moving it and digging it deeper with 2 hours and it was all foc.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 28-09-2019, 00:31
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I am no engineer but i have built my own house. I cant imagine it would it be cheaper to float the over-site on a piled based construction over the pipe. So you are left with paying up or building over if and keeping your fingers crossed. The later opinion is not a goer for me either as if you sold the property you have to declare the water main under the property - that going to affect the sale price.

Do the deeds to the property/land show anything that may be of help.

If you can wait, winter is coming. Leave the pipe exposed to the elements, it bursts. AW then have to get permission to come on your land and fix the pipe - which you could refuse. Thats the time to negotiate with them and get a discount on re-routing the main. You will p**s everyone off who relies on the main for water supply. We have friends and the Mrs works for Northumberland Water. The water company had a similar situation to that i mention earlier this year in a small village. Burst pipe on private land and the owner refusing access as he didn't want his garden ruined. Eventually they did get access but it took over a week.

Can enquire and find out more about what the land owners rights are, did the water company pay the land owner etc etc if you want me to.
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Last edited by swanny65; 28-09-2019 at 00:41.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 28-09-2019, 07:54 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by swanny65 View Post
I am no engineer but i have built my own house. I cant imagine it would it be cheaper to float the over-site on a piled based construction over the pipe. So you are left with paying up or building over if and keeping your fingers crossed. The later opinion is not a goer for me either as if you sold the property you have to declare the water main under the property - that going to affect the sale price.

Do the deeds to the property/land show anything that may be of help.

If you can wait, winter is coming. Leave the pipe exposed to the elements, it bursts. AW then have to get permission to come on your land and fix the pipe - which you could refuse. Thats the time to negotiate with them and get a discount on re-routing the main. You will p**s everyone off who relies on the main for water supply. We have friends and the Mrs works for Northumberland Water. The water company had a similar situation to that i mention earlier this year in a small village. Burst pipe on private land and the owner refusing access as he didn't want his garden ruined. Eventually they did get access but it took over a week.

Can enquire and find out more about what the land owners rights are, did the water company pay the land owner etc etc if you want me to.
That is a good suggestion. Not sure my ultra honest husband will go for it but I can try.

Anything you can find out will be helpful, thank you.

We are looking into the legal aspect of whether they ever had a legal right to lay the pipe through the land in the first place. If they did not, and there is nothing on our deeds, then we need to find out what our rights are about it being in our way. We have planning permission to build and their pipe is in the way but with, possibly, no legal right to be there.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 28-09-2019, 09:13
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We actually have a water main running under our property as well as an electricity supply on a pole above our property. Both of these are in the land deeds as edf and Saur have automatic rights of access as they exercised some years ago when a neighbour wanted mains supply instead of his well water.
I had no say in the matter and complained bitterly that my nice new gravel drive would sink after their restore but this was ignored.

Ray.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 28-09-2019, 10:54
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Having worked in the electricity industry Wayleave Rights apply, the link below states it also covers other utilities.

We were limited to building a garage on one side of our house as the other side had mains water pipes. Although it was clearly marked on the site maps and written into our deeds.

https://www.lexisnexis.com/uk/lexisp...eaves_overview

Terry
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 28-09-2019, 12:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raynipper View Post
We actually have a water main running under our property as well as an electricity supply on a pole above our property. Both of these are in the land deeds as edf and Saur have automatic rights of access as they exercised some years ago when a neighbour wanted mains supply instead of his well water.
I had no say in the matter and complained bitterly that my nice new gravel drive would sink after their restore but this was ignored.

Ray.
In my industry the issue of 'reinstatement' is always an issue, we withdrew many contracts from contractor digging teams who repeatedly cut corners and failed to reinstate ground correctly. No excuse when a gravel surface is the finish, but lawns are particularly hard to get right.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 28-09-2019, 19:51
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You need PROFESSIONAL advice rather than taking the (doubtless well meaning) advice of those on ANY forum. Utility companies do have some pretty draconian rights. In my area you are no longer permitted to build over any water supply pipe. It’s pretty obvious really, if you put a conservatory over the top of it, and the pipe leaks, your conservatory is either going to collapse or the floor will get ripped up.

The cost of moving it does seem extortionate, having said that when I worked for the Highways Authority the cost of having an electric supply laid in for just a roadsign was simply staggering.

Andy
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