When Did Build over Agreement Come into Force

When Did Build Over Agreement Come into Force?

Build over agreement is a legal agreement between a property owner and the local water authority that allows the property owner to build over or close to a public sewer or drain. This agreement is essential to ensure that any future maintenance and repairs can be carried out without causing any damage to the property or endangering the public.

The history of build over agreements can be traced back to the 1930s, when the first water authorities were established in the UK. However, it was not until the Water Industry Act of 1991 that the concept of build over agreements was formally introduced. This act transferred responsibility for the provision of water and sewerage services from the local authorities to newly established water companies.

Under the Water Industry Act of 1991, it became a requirement for property owners to obtain permission from the relevant water authority before building over any public sewer or drain. This was to ensure that any new construction work would not interfere with the water company`s ability to maintain and repair the sewer system.

Since the introduction of build over agreements, there have been significant changes in the way they are administered. In 2011, a new Code of Practice was introduced by Water UK, which aimed to standardize the process of granting build over agreements across all water companies in the UK.

The new Code of Practice introduced a risk-based approach to build over agreements, which allowed for quicker and more streamlined approvals for low-risk developments. This approach also enabled water companies to focus on higher-risk developments that required more careful consideration.

In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness of the need for build over agreements, particularly as new housing developments are built on brownfield sites. These sites often have existing sewer systems that need to be protected, and build over agreements ensure that any new construction work does not compromise or damage the existing sewers.

In conclusion, build over agreements have been in force since the Water Industry Act of 1991, and they have evolved significantly over the years. With the introduction of the new Code of Practice, the process of granting build over agreements has become more efficient and risk-based. As development continues, build over agreements will continue to play a crucial role in protecting public sewers and ensuring the safe and responsible construction of new developments.


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