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Build over agreements are essential legal documents that regulate the construction of buildings over or close to sewers, drains, or any other underground infrastructure. These agreements are typically entered into between a property owner or developer and the relevant authority responsible for the infrastructure to ensure that the building works do not interfere with or damage the existing infrastructure.

The legal framework for build over agreements is provided for in the Water Industry Act 1991, which requires that anyone carrying out work over a public sewer or drain obtains the necessary permission from the sewerage provider before commencing construction. This permission comes in the form of a build over agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions for the construction project.

The reason for the regulation of building work close to or over sewers and drains is to prevent damage to the underground infrastructure and to ensure that it remains accessible for maintenance and repair. The consequences of damage to sewers or drains can be severe, including flooding and environmental pollution. Therefore, it is vital to consider the impact of building work on underground infrastructure before starting construction.

In addition to the legal requirement for a build over agreement, it is also essential to take into account the advice of the sewerage provider who will advise on the best practices when building close to or over sewers and drains. This advice can help to prevent any damage that may occur during or after construction.

The key provisions of a build over agreement typically include the requirement for the property owner or developer to obtain the necessary permits and licenses, to submit detailed construction plans, and to provide adequate protection to the sewer or drain during construction. The agreement will also outline the terms for any compensation offered to the sewerage provider should any damage occur during construction.

It is crucial to note that failure to comply with the terms of a build over agreement can result in legal action and financial penalties. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all necessary approvals, permits, and agreements are in place before starting any building work close to or over underground infrastructure.

In conclusion, build over agreements are essential legal documents that regulate building work close to or over underground infrastructure. They help to prevent damage to sewers and drains and ensure that they remain accessible for maintenance and repair. Property owners and developers must obtain the necessary permission from the sewerage provider and comply with all the terms and conditions outlined in the build over agreement to avoid legal action and financial penalties.