Building Plan Approval
This manual provides information on
obtaining a Building Plan Approval
Greg Houston Plumbing is a Sydney water accredited Quickcheck Agent & Water Servicing Coordinator.
This enables us to meet your needs whenever a Sydney water building plan approval is required. Sydney Water provide guidelines for building near or over a Sydney water asset available here
The initial application stage of a building plan approval is managed by Greg Houston Plumbing on behalf of Sydney Water via the Quickcheck system.
A very simple assessment is carried out on the proposed building works to identify if these works may potentially impact on Sydney Waters assets.
The general rule at this stage in the process is if the building is closer than double the depth of the asset (usually sewer) than the project will require further investigation.
There are some exceptions with larger pipes & stormwater canals & it is the responsibility of the Quickcheck agent to identify this. The double the depth method means that the sewer could very well be outside of your property, but because of the depth, it may still affect your proposed building works.
You can apply for this initial assessment on our “SYDNEY WATER QUICKCHECK” .
If your project requires further assessment, then either a Work As Executed (WAE) drawing or a Service Protection Report (SPR)(formally known as a “sewer pegout”) will be required to move to the next stage of assessment.
A WAE can only be used if it is less than 3 years old. This means that unless you are building in a reasonably new estate or area, then this option is not available. The WAE is a document that records the location of the Sydney Water assets at the time that the infrastructure is built.
Greg Houston plumbing maintains a register of our current estates & in most cases we will already have a copy of this document. In other cases, this document is readily available from the estate developer.
Greg Houston Plumbing has a dedicated, experienced & committed team on the road everyday servicing our SPR projects.
A SPR is required when the Sydney Water assets located within or near your property are more than 3 years old. This is far more common in the case of building a pool, extension, knock down – rebuild property, fences or retaining walls etc.
However, new areas vary in the speed with which they are developed, so it may just be the case that your brand new home still requires a Service Protection Report in order to comply with Sydney Waters requirements.
Greg Houston Plumbing has invested in reputable electronic location equipment to ensure we can identify the location of the asset, without fuss or disturbance to you or your neighbours (in cases whereby access to neighbouring properties is required).
The SPR is then prepared into a high quality design standard PDF drawing. The beauty of Greg Houston Plumbing’s system is that regardless of the challenge during this part of the process, we have a solution to achieve the necessary result, all at very competitive rates.
In some more difficult cases, you may even need to excavate the assets to accurately locate them as occasionally, technology can only take you so far. Our accredited Sydney Water construction team can provide a quote to do this should it be required.
Once either the WAE is obtained or our field team complete the SPR, a further assessment can be carried out. As we now know the location information is very accurate, we can make a precise assessment on the requirements of the proposed works. In some cases, approval can be granted at this stage, with no requirements to protect the Sydney Water asset(s). This is known as a “Asset Not Affected” approval
In other cases, you will be asked the supply the WAE or SPR to your structural engineer for assessment & design of asset protection requirements. Most commonly these include additional piering & when you are building over the asset, concrete encasement of the sewer is likely to be a requirement.
This approval is known as a “Subject to Requirements” approval & will dictate the need for inspections during construction to ensure that the works on site are as per plan. The precautions (such as piering & encasement) ensure no weight is shifted from your proposed works onto the asset. For Example, The smallest amount of weight on a sewer pipe could cause the pipe to crack & sewerage to leak out.
Greg Houston Plumbing is here to ensure this does not happen as repair costs can be more than the cost of your proposed works.
The scope of works for a Water Servicing Coordinator to provide approval is as follows;
“Gravity sewer mains up to and including DN 225 earthenware and plastic pipes (e.g. VC and PVC pipes), that have been constructed by open trench method to a maximum of 6 m to invert and associated structures.”
This covers most properties, however if your property is found to have conditions outside of this statement, Greg Houston Plumbing is required to refer the project to Sydney Water for direction. This is done so Sydney water can assess how critical an asset you are building near & provide direction accordingly.
There are additional costs & requirements associated with this scenario & our team will explain this process in more detail if your proposed works are affected in this way.
In cases that are a part of the Section 73 process, Greg Houston Plumbing has developed an internal process to manage these projects proactively as quite often the above process does not quite fit in with a Section 73 managed development. Your project administrator can discuss this with you in more depth.
For even more information about building & developing in Sydney waters area of operation click here