Ordinary Watercourses: Applying for consent for works

If you want to undertake certain types of work on or near a watercourse, you need to get consent before you start. Certain types of work near a watercourse may not be allowed because it could increase the flood risk. Before we can give consent to a scheme, we’ll need to check that it doesn’t increase the risk of flooding and that it does not adversely affect the environment.

  • If it’s a Main River you’ll need to apply to the Natural Resources Wales 
  • Works affecting an Ordinary Watercourse may need consent from Powys County Council or Powysland Internal Drainage Board.

You can get a statutory map showing main rivers from the Environment Agency’s website – ‘What’s in your backyard’ service.

You can check the classification of the watercourse with us or by visiting the Natural Resources Wales and Powysland Internal Drainage Board websites

How do I apply?

To make an application, fill out the form on this page and return it to us.

You must send us the information we ask for so that we can check that your proposals are suitable. You must show that your proposals will not have an adverse effect on flood risk or the environment.  

We’ll make a decision within two months of receiving a valid application. Please read the guidance notes to make sure you include all the information we need. If you want to discuss your proposed scheme, or have any questions, please contact us.

What type of work needs consent?

Both permanent and temporary works affecting a watercourse may need consent. Temporary works could include damming or partial damming of a watercourse to allow permanent work such as the installation of a bridge.

If you’re not sure if your proposals will need consent or if you need more information, please contact us. There’s often more than one way to complete a job and we may be able to suggest a way to carry out a scheme without the need for consent.

Does the consent have a time limit?

When consent is given, it’s valid for three years. This is because the effects of the scheme may change because of things that happen after you make the application.

Depending on your proposals, we may give a ‘conditioned consent’ for you to carry out the work, for example at a certain time of year, in order to reduce flood risk and potential ecological damage.

Enforcement action against un-consented works

If works are carried out without consent, and where we consider that consent would have been required, we can’t give consent retrospectively. In these cases we will normally take action to make sure the ordinary watercourse is put back to the condition it was in beforehand or remedial action taken.

If you have noticed works to an ordinary watercourse in your local area, please contact us to find out whether the work has the consent it needs.

Application form

  1. Download and complete the application form below
  2. Return it to the address shown on the form
  3. There is an application fee which is stated on the form

Download the consent for works form

Download the consent for works guidance notes

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