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Ordinary Watercourses

Applying for consent for works

Did you know that if you wish to undertake certain types of work on a watercourse, you need to obtain consent before you commence?

Who do I get consent from?

If you wish to undertake certain types of work on a watercourse then you need permission. This depends on whether the watercourse is classed as a ‘main river’ or an ‘ordinary watercourse’.

If works are within 8m of the top of a main river bank then consent will be requires from the Environment Agency.

Works affecting an ordinary watercourse or non main river may require consent from Wrexham County Borough Council LLFA.

Wrexham County Borough Council, as lead local flood authority, took on the ordinary watercourse consenting role from the Environment Agency on 6 April 2012. From Para 32 & 33 of FWMA 2010, this can also be checked on the Environment Agency Website. This partially amends S23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991.

Why do I need consent?

Under Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991 certain types of work within a watercourse may not be permitted due to the potential increase in flood risk. In order to allow work to take place Wrexham County Borough Council can issue consent for a proposed scheme by checking that it does not increase the risk of flooding, and that it does not adversely affect the environment.

What type of work needs consent?

Both permanent and temporary works affecting a watercourse may require consent.

Temporary works could be the damming of a watercourse to allow permanent work such as the installation of a bridge.

Only certain types of work require consent. When considering if your works require consent; consider if they would affect the flow of the watercourse when it is full to the top of the bank. If the flow of the watercourse, when it is full to the top of the bank, will be affected the work will need consent.

If you are not sure if your proposals will need consent, then please contact us. If you wish to get advice on whether it is possible to carry out a scheme without the need for consent, please contact us. Work can often be undertaken in more than one manner. Examples of consentable and non-consentable works are available via the link on this page to the Consenting Guide.

Does the consent have a time limit?

Depending on your proposals, a conditioned consent may be given for you to carry out the work, for example a certain time of year, in order to reduce flood risk and potential ecological damage.

Your consent will also only be valid for a period of three years. This is because the resultant effects of the scheme may change due to other factors that have developed since the application was first made.

How do I apply?

For any further enquiries and also for an application form please contact us.