Sewers and drains | Sewers and drains | Oldham Council


Building over or near sewers

Since October 2011, responsibility for many previously private sewers has been transferred to regional water companies. In our area control is now with United Utilities. This has implications for most types of building work where the proposal involves excavations or works to existing private sewers.

Following detailed discussion between United Utilities and the ten local authorities within Greater Manchester, a system has been adopted to ensure that the impact of this change will not overly affect the smooth running of your project.

Where you are intending to build over or within 3 meters of a United Utilities public sewer, a build over agreement will be required. 

Further information


Installation of new drainage facilities (including installation or relocation of toilets, bathrooms and kitchens) requires Building Control approval.

Gutter or downspout replacement does not require approval.


Domestic premises

Either a Full Plans or Building Notice application may be used.

A Full Plans application means that proposed works can be checked for compliance before work starts, as well as inspected on site.

For a Building Notice detailed plans are not usually required. The work is only checked for compliance as it progresses on site. If any of the work does not comply it would need to be corrected.

Non-domestic premises

Applications for non-domestic premises generally need to be submitted in the form of a Full Plans application. However, the council may accept a Building Notice if the works are of a minor nature.

If you think you may only need to use the Building Notice please contact Building Control with details of your proposals before you submit your application.


For some Full Plans applications, part of the fee is payable upon submission of the application and the other part is invoiced for, after the first inspection by Building Control officers. This is dependant on the work category and is shown within the charges information.

For a Building Notice application, fee is payable upon submission of the application.

Plumbing and drainage works are charged as alterations/installation of fittings, based on the estimated cost of the works, as shown in the following documents.

Domestic premises

Non-domestic premises

Please contact the Building Control Helpline and the Team will be able to provide you with a fee quote

  • 0161 770 4122