Building over or near sewers

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If you are planning an extension to your property or would like to construct a new building, you will need to check the location of the public sewers.

Many household drains are classified sewers under jurisdiction of Anglian Water and you will need their permission to carry out any work which may effect their drain or the access to maintain it. You are advised to visit the Anglian Water website to find out more.

We cannot issue an approval until consultation and an agreement is issued by Anglian Water. We can advise you whether a sewer is in the vicinity of your property on request.

If your building work involves building over or close to a public sewer you cannot submit a Building Notice to the Council for the work, but have to deposit a Full Plans submission.

Public sewers can sometimes be found within the boundaries of properties and can run close to or underneath buildings.

Any extension that is built over or close to a sewer or drain shown on the official map of sewers must comply with the requirements of Requirement H4 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations. You can find out whether any sewer or drain affected by your project is on the official map of sewers, by asking the Council. In such cases, we will have to consult the sewerage undertaker, who may stipulate conditions before you can carry out the work.

The Approved Document to Part H4 of the Building Regulations makes it clear extensions should not be constructed over a manhole or inspection chamber or other access fitting on any sewer serving more than one property.

Drains and sewers must be adequately bridged and protected and foundations extended locally to allow for such pipe-work to pass through walls where they are less than two metres deep.

In some situations, special foundation arrangements must be made to protect drains and sewers, and the building/extension itself, from the effects of settlement.

Before undertaking any building work close to or over drains and sewers, you should consult your local authority building control team.

Contact Details

Building Control,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432000

Monday to Friday 08:30 - 17:00

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01473 433444

After 17:00 and weekends (for out of hours emergencies only)