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