Moving a drain on your own land
Q: A property we want to buy has potential for a kitchen extension across the back to make the kitchen a much more useable space. There is a waste downpipe and drain cover on the side we would like to extend onto. Before we involve architects or get a survey, is it generally complicated and prohibitively expensive to get the drain and drain cover moved?
In practical terms this is quite common and would not usually be disproportionately expensive, even if it might involve rebuilding the drain and or manhole in materials suitable for the purpose. A difficulty would though arise if a part of the drain serves other properties, as for instance might be the case with terraced houses where a common drain runs behind the terrace and parallel to it. If it is a drain used in common, it will now be subject to the control of the local water authority, who are likely to impose draconian conditions if you want to move, alter or build over it.
To find out the nature of the drain you intend to build over: if this information is not already available in the home information pack then you should be able to obtain it from the local water authority.
Andrew McWhirter, McWhirter Associates, Chartered Surveyors
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