Ordinary watercourses include streams, drains and ditches and passages through which water flows that do not form the network of main rivers.
Any works to change the flow, to erect a culvert or bridge, or to create any obstruction in any ordinary watercourse will require consent. Even if you have planning permission or other consents, you may still require consent for works to ordinary watercourses.
For works on or near a main river you will need consent from the Environment Agency.
The document shows the types of work that require consent:
Read the guidance notes and complete the application form.
- Guidance notes (PDF, 59KB)
- Culvert policy (PDF, 808KB)
- Ordinary watercourse land drainage consent application form (Word, 101KB)
Applications cost £150 each and should be sent to the relevant district or borough council.
There are no provisions in the legislation that allows for retrospective consents. However, if work has been carried out on an ordinary watercourse without prior consent, if appropriate, the relevant District or Borough can ask you to obtain consent, or restore the watercourse to its original condition.