NSW Seeking Advice on Stormwater Pipeline Easement Issue with Neighbor front driveway

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16 June 2024
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and looking for some advice or insights from anyone who has had similar experiences.

Last October, we started building our house with Metricon. To comply with council requirements for stormwater management, we need to connect our OSD (On-Site Detention) tank to an existing stormwater pit. Unfortunately, this connection requires the pipeline to run under our neighbor's driveway.

The driveway in question is not actually owned by our immediate neighbor; it is used to access the property in front of their house. The council has informed us that we need to obtain the neighbor's consent to get a road opening permit for the pipeline installation.

Fortunately, our neighbor is also in the process of a knockdown and rebuild, and their driveway is currently demolished. This situation seems like an ideal opportunity to install the pipeline without causing much inconvenience.

We reached out to the neighbor to seek their consent, but they declined, citing concerns that the pipeline might cause future issues with their new driveway. Despite multiple attempts to address their concerns, we have been unable to secure their agreement. They mentioned they would consent if the council approved the installation, but the council stated that we need the neighbor's consent first.

After doing some research, I found that the council might grant permission directly in certain cases, and there is also the "Access to Neighbouring Land Act 2000" that provides a legal avenue to resolve such issues. However, this legal process can take up to three months and be quite costly, which is a concern for us in terms of both time and expense. Additionally, going through a legal battle could strain our relationship with the neighbor.

Has anyone here faced a similar situation or have any advice on how to proceed? Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help!