Apply for land drainage consent

If you wish to carry out works, such as constructing a dam, weir, headwall, bridge or culvert, which may affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse, you must apply for consent.

We can issue consent when we've confirmed that the proposed scheme does not increase the risk of flooding or adversely impact the environment.

If the watercourse is classed as a ‘main river’, you will need to obtain consent from the Environment Agency - see ‘main rivers’ to find out more.

How do I apply?

To apply for consent you will need to:

No application will be considered until payment has been received. Please send payment immediately after submitting your application.

You will need to apply for consent for each permanent and temporary works required.

Temporary works include cofferdams (watertight enclosures) across a watercourse, or temporary diversions of water. Permanent works could be the installation of a bridge.


Consent fees contribute to our costs for examining the proposals. The fee is £50 per structure (VAT not applicable) and is non-refundable.

This charge is payable in respect of each structure (a culvert along with inlet and outlet headwalls would be classed as one structure), channel, pond, operation or other element that forms the project. The application form should be completed accordingly.

You can contact us if you're in doubt about the fee you need to pay.

What happens if I don't get consent?

We may take legal enforcement action (not necessarily criminal sanction) where damaging or potentially damaging works have been undertaken without consent or are in breach of an issued consent. Failure to comply with such a notice may result in us undertaking remedial work and recharging the owner the costs.

If you suspect that work to a watercourse has been executed without the appropriate consent then you can report it in confidence to us.


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