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Thames Water Build Over Agreements, When are they Required?

Mar 5, 2021


In this week’s Property Surveying blogpost topic, we are going to be discussing Thames Water Build-over Agreements, and in particular when they are required in the context of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

If you are undertaking works to your property, or your neighbour is undertaking works to their property, and those works include the excavations for proposed footings or foundations. Under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 the building owner will be legally required to serve a Party Wall Notice on the Adjoining Owner a minimum of one month in advance of those works commencing.

The builder owner will also need to obtain Thames Water Build-over Agreement Consent directly from Thames Water, if their proposals are in close proximity, or bridge an existing Thames Water drainage pipe.

The first point to take into account, is that a Thames Water Build-over Agreement only applies to drains and public sewers.

In order to better understand this, it is worth noting that a public drain or a sewer, is actually only applicable at the point whereby it crosses the boundary lines of one property owner to another.

The logic behind a Thames Water Build-over Agreement, is that the building owner’s proposed excavation works do not pose an unnecessary risk to the Thames Water drainage, which could ultimately result in the drains becoming ruptured, cracked or ultimately blocked.

The Thames Water Build-over Agreement itself will ensure that the drains are sufficiently bridged, or lintelled over, with a sufficient drawing and detail being provided by the architect setting out exactly how it will be bridged, ultimately ensuring that the risk to the drain is as low as it can possibly be.

Thames Water Build-over Agreements are in many cases overlooked, and can be left very late in the process before they are addressed.

We would advise ensuring that you approach the Thames Water Build-over Agreement at the first opportunity, as that will avoid further issue and delay further down the line.

If you would like to discuss Thames Water Build-over Agreements in the context of Party Wall Surveying matters with our team of qualified and experienced Party Wall Surveyors, give us a call today and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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