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Downstream neighbour has refused stormwater pipe access. Do I have any other options?

Discussion in 'Development' started by beachgurl, 20th Jun, 2015.

  1. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    I'm attempting to subdivide a block into two in Brisbane. I've been advised that I need permission from next door to run a pipe along his back fence. He's just refused.

    Is that the door closed on the subdivision now? Can I get the stormwater pumped to the street or is a 2 lot subdivision not deemed a material change of use?
     
  2. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

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    I'd say a underground stormwater retention tank and pumping system to discharge stormwater to the street would be the go, I did a subdivision in Adelaide on the low side of the road - even though I thought I had enough natural fall to get stormwater to the street with normal downpipe system, instead the council insisted the above method was required, not cheap, think it added another 7k ish to one small house, but all in all not a massive issue, the engineers that did the house plans also did the stormwater stuff, so I'd suggest you talk to the people doing the engineering of your house design, it should be simple for them to calculate minimum capacity/ pump size etc. to meet requirements for rainfall in your area and put that on the plans you lodge to council.
     
    Last edited: 20th Jun, 2015
  3. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Hey Beachgurl,

    How did you approach your neigbour? Was he offered an incentive? Would the new easement cause him issues in anyway? If not then you should try putting together a document which outlines how this would affect him. For example if it is along the fence line then explain how you cannot construct over it anyways, back it up with council docs.

    You should be able to put in a pump pit though, council needs to give you an alternative if the neigbour will not accept. What you need to do though is weigh up the cost, if a pump pit would cost 15k then offer your neigbour say 10k as an incentive. Most people don't know any better and when they hear they cannot do anything with that land anyway then they may decide to investigate further and then be happy to accept the 10k.
    Even if you offer 15k you need to remember your sale value is going to be affected by having the pit. It's not something a buyer really wants! There is a lot of ongoing maintenance and headaches with a pump pit that will be reflected in a purchase price.
     
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  4. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    @beachgurl ,

    Now you have two viable options,

    1. charged line (if slope isnt that much)

    2. pump out system, (will cost 15k+, .may be more) if your engineer can make it work and council is happy to approve it,


    Third one

    Force the easement on neighbor thru court (May/may not work)
     
  5. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I approached the neighbour with 5k and a new fence. He said he has mature trees along the back fence that would be destroyed if a pipe had to go in. He said that 5k "wouldn't even be a drop in the ocean to replace his trees" and that losing privacy along his back fence doesn't have a price.
     
  6. jim1964

    jim1964 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I think you will be have no hope convincing him regarding your comments above,move to plan B,if there is one.
     
  7. LJW

    LJW Member

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    Is there only one property downstream? Can you run the pipe through your side neighbour and then another rear neighbour? In Brisbane, if your site slopes away from the street and the neighbours are not playing ball, you are in a bit of trouble. Council won't allow rubble pits or holding tanks/pump out to the street. How much does the site slope away from the street? We have got approval for straight subdivisions in the past where our client's site slopes away from the street but it was a pretty expensive outcome. i.e a lot of filling/retaining walls so that the building pad is higher than the street and engineering report demonstrating that the remainder of the stormwater (i.e. at the rear of the site) will result in no worsening of the existing situation.

    Have you already lodged your subdivision application? Another option would be to lodge a combined subdivision/material change of use although you would also need to design the houses (and likely construct them before plan sealing). You could potentially get roof water from the 2 houses to the street (with a charged line) but then you still have to deal with the stormwater runoff from the rest of the site. Your engineer will need to demonstrate that there is no worsening of stormwater impacts.

    In my opinion, you are better off offering the neighbour $20k and potentially designing it so it doesn't require the removal of his trees.
     
  8. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies. The neighbour wants 100K.

    There is another neighbour diagonal to my site that is downstream, so I am going to ask them today. They are young owner occupiers so perhaps there could be a different outcome. There is a fair slope to the land, around 3m, so filling wouldn't be an option right?

    No, I haven't lodged the subdivision application yet. I was of the belief that there is no point if you can't yet determine the lawful point of discharge.

    I've asked my engineer to provide me with a report on if there are any real options to get the stormwater to the street. If everything looks to be a no, I'll just do the knockdown and build a single house. There wouldn't be a huge difference in profit doing 1 vs 2 but I would have to sell the one big house on completion rather than build 2 sell one.
     
  9. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    @beachgurl,

    100K??:rolleyes::rolleyes:

    even court order wont be that much..

    best to look at other option.. good hydraulic engineer may be able to make it happen!!
     
  10. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    Thought I'd provide an update for anyone playing along. The diagonal neighbour has agreed for a pipe to run along their back fence. However as the fences all join at a point, I've been advised that I need 600-700mm access from either the next door or the back neighbour to run the pipe through to the diagonal neighbour's yard. I'm doubting Mr100K will budge and the other neighbour has his house on the market and has denied access.

    Has anyone had any success with council encouraging a neighbour to give access, or am I pushing it uphill?
     
  11. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    You pushing a uphill battle!

    With out propsed Stromwater plan from qualified engineer, approval from digonal neighbor may not even work!

    Also, easement has to be registered on their title too, I have seen few neighbors back away when they hear about it.
     
  12. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    thanks for your reply. I have a stormwater plan from an engineer. He is the one who said I needed 600mm from one of the other neighbours. Brisbane council says that as it is a private line it won't be registered as an easement. I have a signed approval letter from the diagonal neighbour.
     
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  13. Leo2413

    Leo2413 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Then its sorted?

    I feel your pain. I needed an easement from my neighbour in my recent development and guess who is my neighbour? Council! They oooed and aaahed but in the end they granted t he easement. My engineer and I were 1 inch short of taking them to court when they sensed it and suddenly had a change of heart.

    Anyway it sounds like you have a viable option now?
     
  14. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    No, I still need one of the other two neighbours to agree to access in order to get to the approved neighbour's lot.
     
  15. Leo2413

    Leo2413 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    ahh I see...:(
     
  16. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    600 is probably coming from minimum trench width. There are smaller excavator buckets but it may just be the smallest on paper they follow.
    Do the owner occupiers know what they are getting into? Will you compensate them in any way?
     
  17. RetireRich101

    RetireRich101 Well-Known Member

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    Is this the splitter block you shifted the old house in north Brisbane
     
  18. Tonibell

    Tonibell Well-Known Member

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    Buy next door and have a bigger project ?
     
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  19. Leo2413

    Leo2413 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Does the council even allow a pump system?
     
  20. RetireRich101

    RetireRich101 Well-Known Member

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    Wondering how this 'no easement required for storm water' works ..l?

    There was another post, where a guy found out neighbour has a storm water pipe in this land, and his neighbour told him to f... off, when he approached him.

    Say you paid the guy $100k today to put a storm water pipe in his yard. Years later your neighbour on sells to a developer. The developer finds the pipe, rips it out without even ask you because it is not registered and council does not have any record of this being put in.

    Since the house is already built, neighbor rips out your pipe, what would council do in this situation?