Building Over Easements Policy

Adopted by Council on 5 March 2018


Latrobe City receives formal requests under Regulation 310, Building Interim Regulations 2017, to construct a building or structure over an easement that is vested in the interests of Council.  Council’s delegated officer must decide these requests within 14 days of receipt of all information.

Decision making should be transparent, equitable and fair and the building over easements policy will guide Council’s delegated officer in the appropriate decision. 

Consistency in the application processes is important and the building over easements policy will provide guidance to our delegated officer in the application of our processes.


The policy has been established to protect public drainage infrastructure networks and drainage pathways.


This policy is designed to protect Latrobe City assets in easements vested in Council and the interest of the subject property owner. It describes how Council’s delegated officer will decide applications to building over an easement.  In special circumstances, Latrobe City may conditionally approve an application to build over such easements.

Principles of Management

Applications to build over an easement that is vested in Council must be in writing pursuant to the requirements of the building regulations.  The applicant must submit a consent and report form with the associated design documents, site plans, titles application fees and the like.

Applications to build over an easement will be assessed against the likely impact of the proposed development including:

  • The size and depth of the stormwater drain and the width of easement required to maintain/replace the drain,
  • Future needs to augment or enlarge the drain,
  • Impact of the development on access to other parts of the easement, and
  • Agreement from other parties with a legal entitlement to the use of the easement, (eg. Other lot owners and service authorities such as Gippsland Water).

Approval to build over an existing Council asset in an easement or an easement that is not currently used but may be required for future drainage will be refused to protect existing public and future infrastructure and allow for the maintenance of drains, future drainage construction, or to ensure the non-obstruction of a flood path.

Approval to build within the easement but not within 300 mm of an existing pipe but not normally over an existing pipe, may be approved subject to the landowner entering into an agreement under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to indemnify Council.  The agreement will be lodged against the property title, will require the owner to dismantle all or part of the building if access is required to that section of the easement reserve and protects Council against damages to the building from drainage assets.

The fee for drafting the Agreement under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 will be payable by the applicant in accordance with the Councils annual fees and charges schedule.

Where in the particular circumstance, an easement that is vested in the Council is not in use and in the opinion of the Manager Infrastructure Development, it appears likely it will never be used, the Agreement may be negated.

Accountability and Responsibility

Accountability and responsibility for this policy is outlined below.


  • Responsibility to ensure this Policy is consistent with Latrobe City Council Strategic Direction and other Latrobe City Council Policies
  • Responsibility for the decision to approve this Policy by Council Resolution

Chief Executive Officer

  • Overall responsibility for compliance with this policy
  • Overall responsibility for enforcing accountability
  • Overall responsibility for providing resources
  • Overall responsibility for performance monitoring

General Manager

  • Responsibility for compliance with this policy
  • Responsibility for enforcing accountability
  • Responsibility for providing resources
  • Responsibility for performance monitoring


  • Develop frameworks and procedures in compliance with this policy
  • Enforce responsibilities to achieve compliance with frameworks and procedures
  • Provide appropriate resources for the execution of the frameworks and procedures

Employees, Contractors and Volunteers

  • Participate where required in the development of frameworks and procedures in compliance with this policy.
  • Comply with frameworks and procedures developed to achieve compliance with this policy.

Evaluation and review

This policy will be reviewed on request of Council, in the event of significant change in the Executive team, significant changes to legislation applicable to the subject matter of the policy or, in any other case, during each Council term (generally four years).


  • Easements are reserved land, within a title, that have been set aside for the exclusive use of an authority or authorities and commonly contain drainage, sewage, gas, power, telecommunications and similar infrastructure.  Almost all easements are created when the land was originally subdivided and are shown on the property title.
  • Building includes structure, temporary building, temporary structure and any part of a building or structure. Building Act 1993 Section 3.

Related documents

  • Annually adopted fees and charges schedule
  • Application for Consent and Report
  • Generic Section 173 Agreement

Reference resources

  • Building Act 1993
  • Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Building Interim Regulations 2017
  • National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia) produced by Australian Building Codes Board
  • Practice Note 2014-57 issued by the Victorian Building Authority