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Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

35Removal of obstructions from private sewers

(1)If a private sewer is obstructed at a point within the area of a local authority (other than a county council and the Greater London Council), the authority may serve on each of the persons who is an owner or occupier of premises served by the sewer, or on each of such of those persons as the authority thinks fit, a notice requiring the recipients of notices in pursuance of this subsection in respect of the obstruction to remove it before a time specified in the notice; and that time shall not be earlier than forty-eight hours after the service of the notice or, if different notices in respect of the same obstruction are served in pursuance of this subsection at different times, shall not be earlier than forty-eight hours after the latest of those times.

(2)If an obstruction in respect of which notices have been served by an authority in pursuance of the preceding subsection is not removed within the period specified in the notices, the authority may remove it.

(3)Where an authority has reasonably incurred expenses in removing an obstruction in pursuance of the preceding subsection, the authority may serve on each of the persons on whom it served notice in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section in respect of the obstruction a further notice—

(a)requiring him to pay to the authority a sum equal to so much of the expenses as is specified in the further notice; and

(b)specifying the other persons on whom notices in pursuance of this subsection have been or are to be served in respect of the expenses and the amount specified or to be specified in each of those notices ;

and it shall be the duty of the authority, in determining what amounts to specify in notices to be served by the authority in pursuance of this subsection in respect of any expenses, to have regard to any matters which appear to the authority to indicate the cause of the obstruction and, so far as the authority are aware of the obligations, to any obligations to remove the obstruction which arose under agreements between persons on whom the notices are to be served.

(4)A person on whom a notice is served in pursuance of the preceding subsection may, within the period of six weeks beginning with the date of service of the notice, appeal to the county court against the notice on the ground that it would be reasonable for the whole or part of the sum specified in the notice to be paid by some other person who is an owner or occupier of premises served by the sewer in question.

(5)On an appeal in pursuance of the preceding subsection against a notice the court shall either dismiss the appeal or order that the whole or part of the sum specified in the notice shall be paid to the authority which served the notice by—

(a)a person, other than the appellant, who is an owner or occupier of premises served by the sewer in question; or

(b)persons, other than the appellant, each of whom is such an owner or occupier, in such proportions as are specified in the order,

and that the sum specified in the notice shall be reduced accordingly ; but the court shall not order any payment by a person other than the appellant unless that person has, not later than the beginning of the period of eight days ending with that on which the hearing of the appeal is begun, been made a respondent to the appeal in accordance with rules of court.

(6)Where a local authority has served a notice on a person in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, then—

(a)if the person has not appealed against the notice in pursuance of subsection (4) of this section within the period specified in that subsection, the authority shall be entitled after the expiration of that period to recover from him the sum specified in the notice; and

(b)if he has so appealed within that period and the court has not reduced to nil the sum specified in the notice, the authority shall be entitled after the determination of the appeal to recover from him the sum specified in the notice or, if the court has reduced that sum to a smaller sum, the smaller sum.

(7)Expressions used in this section and in Part II of the Public Health Act 1936 have the same meanings in this section as in that Part; and sections 287 and 288 of that Act (which confer power to enter premises and penalise obstruction) shall have effect as if references to that Act included references to this section.

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