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I'm trying to understand the following covenant set out in a Property Register title plan:

Not at any time to erect or add to any building or structure or to execute any works including without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing the alteration of ground levels or the making of excavations or the laying or construction of drainage or the positioning of any crane or machinery) on the property or any part thereof or to permit or suffer the erection of or addition to any building or structure or the execution of such works

Would this effectively mean that no changes or additions can be made to the plot if it requires any groundworks of any kind? Examples include extensions, garage bases and workshops.

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The covenant restricts ANY and ALL of the following (imagine the word "OR" between each bullet point):

  • Erecting a building or a structure
  • Adding a building or a structure
  • Executing any works that includes:
    • Altering the ground levels
    • Making excavations
    • Laying or constructing drainage
    • Positioning any crane or machinery on the property or part of the property

So, erecting/adding a building or a structure without any groundworks would still be covered by this covenant. For example, adding a shed would be restricted under the covenant. Naturally, your examples would be covered too.

Changes would be covered if they required groundworks, but you could for example remove a building or structure by hand and it wouldn't be covered—or do some work that isn't groundworks and doesn't require machinery (e.g. painting the building, etc.)

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