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Nutsy

Can the council charge to correct damage done by them to your private property?

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Around a year or two ago the an underground ditch drain pipe started to leak and come up after some heavy rain, my parents who were living here at the time called the council to get it fixed.

 

The council then dug up the drain but left it as an open ditch on our land, without asking us first... (we would have said no)

The council refuse to correct the damage done, and say we must pay to repair it ourselves or pay them to do it.

 

We never asked them to dig up the ditch. They did that on there own accord.

 

Do we have any legal backing to force them to correct the damage done?

 

And can this work be classed as criminal damage as it was done without our blessing?

ditch before.jpg

ditch1.jpg

ditch2.jpg

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I believe they can dig up a drain to avoid damage to other properties/highways etc and it is then the landowners responsibility to repair that damage. I had the same thing happen to a family member. I believe they went to see a solicitor and got told that its not something that they(my family) can pursue. I believe, if my memory serves, that hone insurance kicked in.

I suppose it depends on what it was for though. Can you explain a bit more? Why did thy dig? Did they ask to dig? What type of drain?

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Its a ditch drain thats open every so often. Its open on the other side of the drive (far end of the picture) and that has been open since my mum was a child...

From what my parents told me it was when we had loads of heavy rain there was some localised flooding around the area as well... (not caused by the ditch) But the rain was heavy enough to make the pipe burst under ground and water came up...

 

The ditch and areas of underground pipe run along side of the road all the way up to the top of the street.

 

It wasnt going to cause more damage to the area, it was just a drain pipe that burst and needed repair.

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For what you said they fixed the pipe but they won't cover the ditch, correct?

If so, just get some friendly builder to cover the ditch with their rubble (which will drain better than earth and free) and then cover the last few inches with a bit of soil.

Job done and everyone is happy.

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Na they removed the pipe in that section completely and just left it as an open ditch...

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Maybe check planning. Was it always meant to be an open ditch and did your parents or the previous occupants put a pipe in to hide the ditch?

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its been closed at least since my mum was a young child... 1950s...

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Why the council thinks that it should be closed is the mystery.

Considering that further down it's open as you said, what's the problem with keeping that section open?

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No it should be closed no open. it wasn't open before. And the problem is, its our land. And now with how they left it its difficult to maintain. We cant mow it or do any thing do it if we wanted to...

 

Its our property not the councils. And they have caused damage to it.

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Ok, i missed that point.

Well if it's your land and they messed it up, surely they should be the ones putting everything back as it was

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Thats what I would have thought, but the council are insisting if we get them to repair it they will charge us for it

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Hi Nutsy

 

I am sorry to say that the council is correct

if it on your land then it is your responsibility.

Same as a ditch on a farmers land they have to maintain it.

I am supprised they did not charge for the initial problem.

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It was an underground drain. A public utility that ran under our land...

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It may not be the case

To me it was properly done by the house holder at some point, I am not saying you did it, but a previous HH.

Rule of thumb

The ditch is the other side of your hedge from the house,

this normally means it is the House holders property (ditch)

You will need to research this more, but I think you will find it was your pipe not the councils

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The property has been in the family for well over a hundred years...

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Your point being,

The boundary would have been the ditch,

which would have been owned by the House Holder.

The pipe would not have been 100 years old

check the council records, if they had done it it would show.

if not leave it as it is or pay for the repair!

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it may be unfair but it is for you to make good, despite it being a public drain. the same applies to pipes and cables running across your property to someone else's, you have to maintain them. In practice the local water board or electric co will do all of the necessaries and make good as well as they can but you wont get any sympathy if you then claim for the loss of your prize dahlias. What they have done is serviceable but if you want to restore a culvert you may ahve to ask permission so as to take into account flooding of adjacent land

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