Ordinary watercourse regulation
We have responsibility for regulating ordinary watercourses. Ordinary watercourses include streams, drains, ditches and passages that water flows through but that are not part of the main river network.
This means that we can:
- take enforcement action to resolve unlawful and potentially damaging works to a watercourse
- give consent for changes to ordinary watercourses that might block or change the flow of the water
You may need consent to carry out works, especially if you plan to divert, culvert or change the natural state of a watercourse.
We strongly recommend you discuss any applications with us before you make a formal application.
Each application costs £50. We will not be able to process your application before we receive both the application and the fee.
If you carry out work without applying for permission you will have to to remove any works, whether it is compliant or not. Consent is not given retrospectively.
The application process can take up to two calendar months, so please allow enough time.
Certain activities may also require a Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment.
To discuss your proposal or request an application form, please contact the Flood and Coastal Management section.