Just discovered our studio would be over an easement (sewer pipe)!?

Mi Ji
16 days ago
last modified: 16 days ago

We're waiting on a building permit (have planning permission already for an extension and building a studio at the back) and we've just discovered in the process of getting a PIC number that the studio, which on the plans is at the very back of our inner suburban block (in Maribyrnong / City West Water in Melbourne), will be over a sewer pipe. We have a builder and aren't well versed in how any of this works, but no one is being much help at the moment so seeking external views.

It seems like the City West Water rules are hard and fast, and a studio (apparently a habitable space even though no one will be living in it - it's for music production) can't be built over the easement. We're trying to get answers from CWW as to whether there's a workaround / a way we can adjust the plans to make it work, but we're not finding it easy to get answers.

So - if there's something we can do we'd love to know about it! Thank you in advance.

Edit: have included a chunk of the plans with my crudely added depiction of where the sewer runs through the backyard (part of the block that was previously the laneway).

Comments (4)

  • PRO
    MB Design & Drafting
    16 days ago

    I know that in NSW we can build over a sewer line as long as its concrete encased - at the site owners expense.

    Note that this is to be sorted before plans are commenced..... A simple Dial before you Dig right at the beginning would have shown where the sewer line is.

  • Mi Ji
    Original Author
    16 days ago

    Yeah - we had information but apparently something fell through the cracks with their being two titles (the main house and then the bit that used to be the laneway).

  • oklouise
    16 days ago

    also in NSW we were given permission to build a habitable room over sewer pipes as long as the the sewer pipes were encased in concrete according to Council specs and we couldn't use a concrete slab floor and had to build the room on piers with an accessible crawl space underneath the floor..we took all our info to the local building inspector and they suggested an ideal work around (by moving our building sideways) ..but i'm shocked that your building designer allowed the planning to progress this far without identifying the potential problem ..could you move the studio closer to the house with a courtyard space between dining and studio or build a proper non habitable room ie out of different materials eg a sound insulated steel shed build on piers..there must be an answer and your building designer needs to do the research as they should have already known..best of luck

  • Austere Hamlet
    16 days ago

    Put it on a flatbed traiiler with wheels. Then it's not a studio but a caravan parked in your backyard. It doesn't have to be towable or registered, just has to not be fixed to the ground and removable. Have the studio completely removed from your planning application, you don't need one to park a recreational vehicle in your yard. Then have the studio built offsite on a frame that is removable and have it installed later. It can be placed on concrete pads for permanent placement. As long as you can move the studio out of the way should repairs or change to the sewer pipe be scheduled, you are sweet.