You may need permission to work on main rivers and other watercourses.

When permission is needed

Permission may be required for:

  • works in, over, under, a watercourse (including both temporary and permanent works)
  • raising ground levels near a watercourse
  • constructing or altering a culvert or structure to control the flow of the river (such as a weir) on any ordinary watercourse
  • new surface water discharges to watercourses
  • culverting an open watercourse

What type of permission is needed

If your work affects a main river you may need an environmental permit from the Environment Agency.

If your work affects another type of watercourse you may need land drainage consent from the council.

Check if your work affects a main river or ordinary watercourse

Use the Flood map for planning

Main rivers are highlighted on the map with a dark blue line.

Apply for an environmental permit for work affecting a main river

Find out if you need a permit and apply for one if you do.

Paperclip You will find out what type of application to make, what you need to include with your application, where to send it and a full description of what happens afterwards.

Check for permission

After you've applied

When the Environment Agency have the information they need to start assessing your application, they will contact you and tell you that your application is 'duly made'. This means they are starting the assessment process. They may still request more information if they need it to complete their assessment.

Apply for consent to work on other watercourses

Contact us to apply for consent.

Clock Completing this form takes around 5 minutes.

Contact us

After you've applied

We will get back to you within 5 working days to discuss your application.

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