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Land drainage consents
We are now responsible for land drainage consents (sometimes called flood defence consents) for ordinary watercourses as of April 2012. An ordinary watercourse is every river, stream, ditch, drain, cut, dyke, sluice, sewer (other than a public sewer) and passage through which water flows and which does not form part of a main river.
The Environment Agency retains responsibility for consents relating to main rivers and internal drainage boards retain responsibility for consents within their administrative boundaries.
It is essential that anyone who intends carrying out works in, over, under or near a watercourse or flood defence contacts the relevant authority to obtain any necessary consents before starting the work. This is to ensure that any works do not endanger life or property by increasing the risk of flooding or cause harm to the water environment.
A land drainage (flood defence) consent is required for:
Applying for a consent
Please contact us before you start your application - we may be able to advise you that consent is not required for your planned work, or give you advice that will help avoid unnecessary delays. You can ring us 0845 8 72 73 74 for an informal discussion, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a contact number and an officer will ring you back.
To apply for consent for works affecting an ordinary watercourse you must complete a Land drainage consent - application form [50kb] [pdf] and return this to us along with all items on the checklist in Section 11.
It is essential the application is completed accurately and for accompanying information to be clear. If any information is missing, determination of your application could be delayed.
We have also produced a guidance document to help with completing the application form [45kb] [pdf].
Application fee and timeframes
Please note that the application fee is £50 per structure or temporary works event. We have a statutory duty to formally respond to your application within 2 months of receipt of your complete application and associated fees. Your application will be checked to ensure all the required information is present and we will respond within 15 working days of receipt.