Building and Developing

Getting a commercial agreement to build over a sewer

How to get permission to build over a sewer when you're unable to divert it.

We'd prefer to divert the sewer

If your project has work planned that may impact one of our sewers, we'd prefer for it to be diverted instead of built over.

In exceptional circumstances, if it's not possible to divert a sewer, we will consider building over it.

Defining a commercial building project

A building will be considered commercial if it falls under one of the following use classes:

  • Class B: Business that supply people - General industrial, storage and distribution
  • Class C: Locations where people sleep - Hotels, residential institutions, secure residential institutions, houses in multiple occupation that are not single dwellings
  • Class E: Commercial, business and service - Shops, offices, restaurants, light industrial
  • Class F: Learning and non-residential institutions - Schools, galleries, museums, libraries, local community use
  • Others: Theatres, cinemas, public houses, fuel stations

Use classes are defined by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.

If your building falls under a commercial category, you'll need to apply for permission to build over sewers on the site.

Work that requires a commercial agreement

You'll need to apply for commercial agreement if your project includes any of the following types of work:

  • sewers with a diameter more than 225mm
  • sewers classed as critical
  • piling
  • significant temporary works
  • crane operation
  • demolition
  • loading from plant and machinery
  • deep excavations
  • tunnelling
  • significant dewatering

How we assess commercial build over agreements

Our Asset Protection Team deal with planned, significant work near our assets. They will assess your application to build over a sewer.

They will ask for information about the:

  • intended use of the property
  • potential impact of the works on a Severn Trent asset

This will help use decide if work is needed to protect our network of pipes and other assets.

The Asset Protection Team will decide if you need a commercial agreement to build over a sewer.

Contact the Asset Protection Team

The Asset Protection team help commercial developers to understand and plan what needs to be done when working near our pipes and other infrastructure. 

You can contact the Asset Protection team by email and phone.

The team are available:

  • Monday to Thursday: 9am to 5pm
  • Friday: 9am to 4.30pm

Please leave a voicemail if you're unable to get through to the team or call outside office hours. We'll do our best to get back to you the next working day.