Building over an easement

An easement is a defined area of land registered on a land title that gives Council or other authorities access rights through your property. We use these rights for the maintenance, installation, replacement or upgrades of essential drainage infrastructure.

If you intend to build over an easement, you must first obtain consent from all service authorities who have rights to use your easement and then obtain a building permit for the project.


Step 1.Find out if your property has an easement

You can check your Plan of Subdivision on your copy of Title. If you do not have a recent copy of your Title you can:

Step 2.Get consent from relevant authorities

You must apply with each relevant service authority who has a vested interest in the easement on your property, under Regulation 130 of the Building Regulations 2018.

Check your Plan of Subdivision and contact each relevant authority.

These can include, but not limited to, Council (drainage), Melbourne Water (drainage), South East Water (sewerage), Ausnet (electricity supply) and sometimes other property owners (carriageway or other).

If you have a Council easement on your property please follow the steps below.

Step 3.Read our guidelines

Make yourself familiar with the Guidelines for Building over Easement(PDF, 444KB).

Step 4.Prepare your documentation

  • A written cover letter justifying the proposal in accordance with Council’s Build Over Easement Guidelines
  • Current certificate of title and plan of subdivision
  • Clear and legible drawings including a site plan (these plans must highlight the areas where the proposed structure will be over the easement)
  • Written consent from any other authorities that have a vested interest in the easement, for example South East Water.

Step 5.Apply online

Applications may take up to 14 days to process. This can take longer if further information is requested.

Application fee of $311.80 applies. Fees are non-refundable and valid from 1 July 2023.

Apply to build over an easement

Even if you own the land where an easement is located, the authorities who maintain the services within easements have the right to control how that land may be used.

If Council refuses your application, you have the right to appeal the decision with the Building Appeals Board. Visit the Building Appeals Board website for information on how to lodge an appeal and see the associated fees involved.

This is not a simple question to answer and is specific to each property. If you would like to discuss the process to remove an easement please contact Council’s City Development team on 1300 653 356.