Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

George1988
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:39 pm

Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by George1988 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:42 pm

I have recently bought my first home; a mid terrace 1860s cottage in a row of three, and I've been approached by a developer who is building seven houses on the land behind my property. My house is a renovation project, and the developer has offered to clear and level out our large garden in exchange for laying a pipe through the middle to connect his development's foul wastes up to our foul water manhole (in the middle of our patio). This drain currently serves my cottage and the cottage to the right; our waste then flows through to join the mains sewer via the cottage on my left. After speaking with Anglian Water, his only other option is to join up to a sewer in the street adjacent to his development, which would involve digging up the road where there are a lot of utilities close by. The developer is obviously pushing for us to move fast on this, so I wondered if anyone has any experience that they could share to help with my below concerns!

1) Anglian Water have said they cannot guarantee at this stage if they'd adopt the new drainage pipe, it would likely be the responsibility of the 7 new houses (split 7 ways). I spoke to my solicitor who felt it wasn't up to me to address this; how can I approach getting something in writing that legally protects me from having ownership of that new drainage in my garden? My fear is the developer says it'll be their responsibility, sells the houses and then I find out further down the line it's my problem!

2) What is reasonable compensation to ask for? The garden offer is nice, but I feel like I could be saving him significant time and money with this solution, and I'd like to ensure I am compensated fairly for that (also I have a renovation to fund, so some extra towards this would be very nice!)

Any advice or sharing of similar experiences would be very much appreciated.

Thank you

arborlad
Posts: 7911
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by arborlad » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:49 pm

George1988 wrote:I have recently bought my first home; a mid terrace 1860s cottage in a row of three,
Thank you


It's highly unlikely that your existing system will have the capacity or suitability for seven additional properties.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

George1988
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:39 pm

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by George1988 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:22 pm

I spoke to the water board about this as well, they seem optimistic based on their records of when it was last upgraded, but I did think this having had a snoop around underneath the manhole cover.

Eliza
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:28 am

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by Eliza » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:14 am

I'd worry that the second any one of these other houses had a drain problem that it would impact on me - ie my drainage would be problematic too and/or I'd have people in my garden dealing with a drain problem that wasnt my responsibility (but I'd be the one suffering the disruption). Whilst I can see it's tempting to think it might be an opportunity to get some money, I very much doubt you'd be paid enough to make it worth it. Add that it could put future buyers off your house - as they would see none of the payment, but all of the disruption when someone else had drain problems. It's surprising just how many people aren't that bright and all you need is one of these characters living in these 7 houses and just chucking anything they think they will down their drain and it could become your problem. Seven houses means there's good odds at least one or two of them will contain someone that daft.

The phrase "The game isn't worth the candle" comes to mind here and I'd certainly refuse in your position.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

George1988
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:39 pm

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by George1988 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:52 am

Thanks for the advice Eliza - I’m definitely leaning towards saying no at the moment. I feel it would be a constant worry to be honest.

arborlad
Posts: 7911
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by arborlad » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:01 am

George1988 wrote:I spoke to the water board about this as well, they seem optimistic based on their records of when it was last upgraded, but I did think this having had a snoop around underneath the manhole cover.


You've obviously done your homework :) Lots of pros and cons here depending on your circumstances.

What is the invert depth on the existing manhole?........if it's deep, all subsequent excavations will have to be to the same depth, you may also want to extend over this patio.

An offer to 'clear and level' your garden can seem inviting - if it actually needs it.

A rule of thumb for compensation is (I think) 1/3rd the cost of using the alternative route across the road, the compensation would be a single payment to you and entirely separate from anything else.

Drawing up an agreement between yourself and the developer is a job for a solicitor, it could be your current one or another but, must be in place before a spade goes in the ground and all legal expenses covered by the developer.

How advanced is the development?............seven houses usually indicates a developer who is small and local, what is their reputation?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

George1988
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:39 pm

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by George1988 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:46 am

Thanks arborlad for your reply; you're right, it is a small local developer who has someone project managing the build for him. I don't know if he's done any similar developments before, from what I can tell he has some rental properties and other small businesses. So far they've levelled the land and have started to dig foundations, according to the PM they want 'roofs on by March'. I'm guessing we could be holding this up whilst we decide how to proceed!

The existing manhole isn't very deep, I can get the exact measurements, but I'd estimate it's no more than 1.5m deep.

That's really useful advice RE the compensation; I do need the garden clearing and levelling (it's huge and the previous owner has let it get completely overgrown), but my uncle is a digger driver so really having them do it is only saving me the cost of a skip and renting a digger for the weekend.

I had a chat to my solicitor, who seems to think it's a job for the developer's solicitor not them, but they are getting back to me on this.

arborlad
Posts: 7911
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by arborlad » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:14 pm

George1988 wrote:I had a chat to my solicitor, who seems to think it's a job for the developer's solicitor not them, but they are getting back to me on this.


Whichever solicitor draws up the agreement, it must be read and approved by an independent solicitor who is experienced in this field of law, funded by the developer.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

jonahinoz
Posts: 1547
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by jonahinoz » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:36 pm

1) Anglian Water have said they cannot guarantee at this stage if they'd adopt the new drainage pipe,

Hi,

It is my understanding that if a neighbours drain enters your property, it is presumed to be a pubic drain. ???

Whatever, the drains will need to be inspected and approved by the local water authority.

What do the plans submitted for planning permission say about the drains? Can the developer change the route of the drains without notifying the Planners,

Be wary about work carried out by the developer, on your land, as payment. It could be that he just has to churn your garden up a bit, declare it is flat, and meets the terms of the agreement.

John W

George1988
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:39 pm

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by George1988 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:30 pm

Thanks John W - I have gone right through the planning application and there’s nothing about drainage so have contacted Building Control to see if they can shed some light on this.

despair
Posts: 16313
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by despair » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:48 pm

I would emphatically say NO
If you do agree then you need to ensure

1) developer pays all your legal costs
2) all the houses deeds bear legal responsibility
3) normal compensstion js 50% of what it will cost deveoper to re route elsewhere
Just 150ft elsewhere was over 10k back 10 yrs ago where i live

Re doing your garden is mere chicken feed to a developer .....play hard ball or tell him NO NO NO

George1988
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:39 pm

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by George1988 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:54 am

Thanks despair - totally agree with your post! I'm just waiting to hear back from the developer so I can tell him our decision and concerns.

despair
Posts: 16313
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by despair » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:18 am

All it will take is just one person throwing a wet wipe down the loo and your garden could be overflowing with sewage

Not pleasant at all .....tell the developer to get on his bike

arborlad
Posts: 7911
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by arborlad » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:00 am

George1988 wrote: I do need the garden clearing and levelling (it's huge and the previous owner has let it get completely overgrown), but my uncle is a digger driver so really having them do it is only saving me the cost of a skip and renting a digger for the weekend.


As an aside to any developer issues, a 160 year old cottage garden will usually have a good depth of decent topsoil, a valuable resource. In addition, there may be fruit trees/bushes, etc., that are worth saving.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

StaffordshireBlue
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:20 am

Re: Developer wants to put new foul waste through my garden

Post by StaffordshireBlue » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:10 pm

Hello George

I've just built a house, and may be able to shed some light on drainage as we had to get a waste water connection.

I found the Developer Services of our water authority really helpful, and it sounds like you may have been in touch with them already. In terms of some of the questions other people asked you:

1. In 2011 sewerage companies became responsible for private sewers (https://www.thameswater.co.uk/Help-and- ... ate-Sewers), you could call the developer services and check if this includes your drainage but it should do.

2. You mention Anglian won't commit to adopting the sewer - a quick look at the developer section of their website suggests they have a 12-month exclusion period before adoption and it's up to the developer to complete the process.

We had a company connect us up to the sewer and on receiving the photographs of the connection Thames Water didn't like the way it was made so have refused to adopt our lateral drain (i.e. the connection from our boundary to the mains sewer). So if you did agree to this easement you'd have to be very careful that any contract was dependent on your water authority adopting the sewer - which you wouldn't be sure of until 12-months after the final inspection if I've read the Anglian website correctly.

3. As another commenter noted the size of pipe you have currently may not be sufficient for additional houses. Again, Developer Services might be able to talk you through things so you can feel informed when you speak to the developer. However, the water authority does request full plans of the connection so should be looking out for this so long as they have accurate information about yours and your neighbours connections. This isn't always the case. I spent three months persuading Thames Water that we needed to get a Build Near agreement as a neighbour had a similar drainage set up running through their garden. Because it was 100-odd years old, they didn't have it on their system and essentially wouldn't believe me that it was there.

Hope that helps with some questions.

SB

Post Reply