I dont understand why or how could a new easement be required?
My neighbours are required to supply me water from the water system which is on their land. They have decided to create more or less a new water system and decommissioned the old, when they could have simply renewed the old water system. The notice served by the council didnt say you must create a new water system. It was a notice to basically bring it up to current regs.
They have done what the works without even involving or notifying me (although its their land, they can do as they please) and now have plucked some numbers out of thin air and decided to bill me after the works have been done.
If it was that easy to nullify an easement would everyone be at it?
The easement you have is to allow you
to draw water and I assume pipe it to your house . Your neighbors are not required to supply it as that is a service which under the law can’t be an easement. An easement also has an ancillary right which allows you to maintain and renew the equipment you use to draw the water because if you couldn’t at sometime the right to draw water could come to an end as things wear out. Occasionally an extra check will be put in place which also allows a servient owner to repair or renew and charge the dominant tenement a fair proportion of the cost in case they don't maintain it themselves under their ancillary rights . These covenants are normally put in place where the servient land owner also uses the equipment .
The easement rights you have cover the parts that were originally used to supply you with water and the specific area of land that they occupied unless something else is expressly mentioned increasing your rights above the standard ancillary rights. Under the basic rights if there was one pipe going over his land to your land and one tank occupying his land you couldn't put a second tank or pipe on his land or if the pipe was 6 inch’s in width your easement rights would only allow you to replace that six inch pipe with another 6 inch pipe or one smaller. To put another way under a slightly different scenario ,as statute law is superior to common law if you had a Right of way that was 6 foot wide and the government came out with a new law that said it needed to be 8 foot wide for it to be legally used your old easement would no longer be valid as the servient owner would not be under any legal obligation to agree to the extra width or a new easement to cover the extra width.
The council sent a notice saying the system had to be improved and brought up to todays standards which your neighbour did because it had to done for the benifit of all users . If in order to bring the system up to todays standards new equipment above and beyond that which was there before was required and that new equipment can not be said to be a direct replacement for the old parts or dont occupy the same ground areas as before because it needed to be larger installation in order to comply with the regs your old easement would not cover the new additions. You may find for instance under the new regs you required a new settlement tank so impurities could be removed from the water before they got to the taps and the size of that tank would probably depend on how much water was drawn out of the well each day. Before you may have only needed a small collection tank.
He probably is unaware of the full implications that may have occurred to your easement when the system was updated and If you pay him money towards the new system the law would take that as confirmation that the neighbour has agreed to allow you to continue as before . So if a new easement was
required ,acceptance of the money would basically be deemed as agreement to any new rights needed by you. The one thing you have to understand ,he was under no obligation to bring the system up to today’s standards for your use. He could have put in a separate system for himself and left your old system in place and left you to do the upgrade yourself for your system . He didn’t do that so we are now where we are . Of course if the neighbour has made changes that were not necessary then it will not affect your easement rights because he has gone beyond that which was required and equity law would say it wouldn't be fair to you to prevent you from using it if he improved it beyond what was required and spent more than he should have. If he did spend more than was reasonable your liabilities should then be reduced and brought down to what would be reasonable .
You say you received a notice saying it need to be improved ,so what you need to do is work out if he could have brought it up to standard using less new equipment and less money. You however need to be careful how you approach it because if you annoy him to much and it turns out to bring it up to standard the works he performed were required and those works have taken what’s on his land outside the scope of the old easement he could make your life very difficult. That doesn’t mean give in to him but it does mean be careful how you approach it . Check out the notice sent to you and him from the council in case they are different .Ask the council what works they said had to be performed and then make an informed decision how to proceed. You may find what he did had to be done and the cost of those works was reasonable.
If you don't want to pay anything then I would assume as you were not involved in the decision making process he could not prevent you installing your own equipment as long as what you installed kept within the terms of your old easement and as the well is on his land complied with the law.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion