Interference with survey marks can be inevitable in construction and development projects, but it should never be taken lightly. The public must recognise the importance and value of survey marks and implement proactive measures to protect and preserve them. This will safeguard the public’s interests and prevent irreparable damage to a critical State asset.

Read the full article (here). Some key points are noted below.

Interfering with survey marks is illegal

  • Interference with survey marks is an offence under Section 42 of the Survey and Mapping Infrastructure Act 2003 and penalties can apply (DNRME website).
  • There are exceptions to allow a mark to be interfered with in order to erect a fence, wall or other permanent structure along the boundary. In all other instances, approval or advice should be sought from DNRME or your local consulting cadastral surveyor before works commence.

Survey marks are decimated by any construction activity within a road corridor, particularly kerb & footpath refurbishment

Interfering with survey marks can be very costly

  • Someone will ultimately pay the price for the destruction of survey marks, now or later. If key marks are disturbed or destroyed, the surveyor may need to keep extending their survey until they can find reliable and relevant marks, compromising the accuracy and integrity of the survey, and adding to project costs.
  • Increased survey costs resulting from the disturbance or destruction of survey marks are inevitably passed onto the public, be it landholders, developers, or consumers. It could be a landholder wanting an Ident survey done to erect a fence, or a site detail survey for a house extension. It could be a developer carrying out a building project or land subdivision. Or the cost could be borne by a construction company or authority carrying out a large-scale infrastructure project.
  • Perpetrators can face the prospect of hefty penalties, and the public pays the price when those interfered with survey marks, are required for their next project.

What should you do to avoid costs and penalties?

  • A consulting cadastral surveyor should be engaged to determine the likelihood of any survey marks being interfered with on a construction project.
  • If marks will be interfered with, then a pre-construction Identification Survey plan (Ident plan) should be completed to locate and verify survey marks, and place recovery marks.
  • Depending on the size and nature of the project, a post-construction Ident survey may be required to re-establish sufficient cadastral survey marks and PSMs. Further surveys may also be required to re-establish the pre-construction horizontal and vertical control networks.

Example Ident Plan of Recovery Marks (no reinstatement – cost-effective approach)

To learn more about the protection of survey marks, and how it may affect your next project:

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