What is an easement?

Many properties have an easement registered on the title. An easement is a section of land that may be used by someone else for a specific purpose. There are two types of easements: regulatory easements and private easements.

Regulatory easements are held either by a council or by a service authority, such as an electricity supplier. Private easements are created to allow a landowner to have access over a neighbour’s land. A common example is a shared driveway.

Sewerage and drainage easements are common types of easements held by councils. Drainage easements are usually sited along the side or rear of the property and may contain drains which service a number of adjacent properties.

Obtaining consent to build over an easement

If you want to erect some form of building work over a regulatory easement you must first obtain consent from whoever has authority over the easement. You can check your title to see who has that authority.

If Council doesn’t have authority over the easement, you must get consent directly from whoever does.

If Council does have authority over the easement you can apply to us directly for consent to build over it. Refer to the Report and Consent page for the application form.

Note that we are not likely to consent to building works over drains or sewers unless we have long-term access to that asset for maintenance and eventual replacement. We may however provide consent to the siting of lightweight structures such as carports or sheds.

Any consent we provide is likely to include conditions designed to protect the long-term integrity of the asset.


The costs are outlined in the fee schedule for Building Permit applications. There are additional legal and administrative fees payable for applications for consent to build over an easement.