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Moving Drains For a Conservatory: A Guide for Homeowners

Moving Drains For a Conservatory: A Guide for Homeowners


When planning to extend your property or build a conservatory, one of the most important things homeowners will need to consider is if their proposed building will have an effect on underground sewer pipes.

You should carefully assess the proposed site for your conservatory, as building over or near a drain can cause significant damage to the underground pipes and your proposed building.

The extension could also make it difficult for your local water authority to gain access to and maintain their sewers.

In this article, we explain everything you need to know about moving drains for an extension in the UK, including costs, legal requirements, and other essential information.

What are the Building Regulations When Building Over a Drain?

Prior to starting any work on moving drains, homeowners should check whether they require planning permission or approval from building regulations and their local water authority.

In the UK, all drainage work must comply with Building Regulations Part H: Drainage and Waste Disposal and planning permissions. Additionally, if your property lies within a conservation area, you may be required to seek further permissions.

According to section H4, if a proposed building will be constructed within three metres of a public sewer, private drain, or private sewer, the following must be met:

  • The drain should be accessible for maintenance purposes, either by a manhole or rodding eye
  • The new structure should not put undue pressure on the drain, and any new foundations should avoid the drain’s location
  • The new structure should not affect the normal operation of the drainage system or cause any contamination of the drain
  • Adequate ventilation must be provided for the sewer or drain
  • Consent must be obtained from your local sewerage authority before beginning construction

Failure to comply with the relevant regulations can result in hefty fines, and the owner may even be required to remove the extension.

We highly recommend getting in touch with a professional drainage specialist, such as Coastal Drains, before building over any drains on your property to ensure you are fully compliant with current regulations.

When Do I Not Need to Seek Planning Permission for Moving Drains?

If your sewer is private and linked to a single property, therefore not connected to a public system, it will be exempt from requiring approval for being moved. In these cases, the sewer would need to be located within the boundary of a single property and maintained privately as part of a property management scheme.

If your planned work is within 3 metres of a public sewer or lateral drain, you must also gain approval from your local authority. Even if this is not the case, we recommend checking with the relevant authorities before starting work just in case.

What are the Options for Moving Drains for a Conservatory?

When considering moving drains for a conservatory in the UK, homeowners have a number of options available, including:

  • Diverting the drain: Diverting a drain on your property will involve rerouting the pipes to a new location outside of the area where the conservatory will be constructed. By choosing this option, you must obtain the relevant permissions from your local authority and comply with relevant Building Regulations, such as Part H: Drainage and Waste Disposal.
  • Raising the drain: This option will involve raising the level of the drain to a height above the conservatory’s base. This can be a costly undertaking and can require a structural engineer to ensure the drain’s new location is stable

How Much Does Moving a Drain for a Conservatory Cost?

On average, homeowners can expect to pay upwards of £4,500 to move a drain for a conservatory. This cost typically includes materials and labour, however, more complex jobs can cost up to £6,000.

Permission from the local water authority to move the drain will also increase the costs by at least £750.

An additional allowance of at least £1,000 should be set aside for moving manholes, plus any refining required after the job has been completed, such as returning and landscaping due to the potentially messy nature of the job.

How Long Does it Take to Move a Drain?

The time it takes to move a drain will depend on how complex the job is, and whether or not any complications appear during the process.

In some cases, it can take months for a local water authority to grant permission for the moving of drains, so it is essential that you factor this into your plan as it could put your project on hold.

Get in Touch with Coastal Drains Today

Moving drains for a conservatory can be an extremely complex process. From careful planning to compliance with legal requirements, it can cause stress and confusion throughout.

Homeowners planning to build a conservatory should seek professional advice when it comes to moving the drains on their property. Coastal Drains has years of experience providing top-quality advice to help them obtain the necessary permits and to ensure their entire project adheres to all relevant legislation.