Regulations concerning consenting and enforcement | Oxfordshire County Council

Regulations concerning consenting and enforcement

The Lead Local Flood Authority has a duty to regulate certain drainage activities.

Under the provisions of the Land Drainage Act 1991, as amended by the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Oxfordshire County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority has a duty to regulate certain activities that might have an adverse impact on flood risk and the environment and to ensure that riparian owners carry out their responsibilities.

What is meant by regulation?

Regulation consists of two processes:

1. The issuing of consents for any changes to a watercourse that might obstruct/alter the flow

The consenting process is in place to ensure that any works carried out in or near a watercourse do not have a negative effect on nearby properties or the environment. It also ensures that any works which may affect flood risk are properly designed - how you can apply.

2. Taking enforcement action to rectify any unlawful and potentially damaging work to a watercourse

In exceptional circumstances, enforcement action may be required where activities on an ordinary watercourse have caused adverse effects on flooding and the local environment. This will depend on the severity of the obstruction and/or the level of risk associated to the stretch of watercourse.

What does the legislation state?

Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act (1991) states, no person shall:

  1. Erect any mill dam, weir or other like obstruction to the flow of any ordinary watercourse or raise or otherwise alter any such obstruction, or
  2. Erect a culvert in an ordinary watercourse, or
  3. Alter a culvert in a manner that would be likely to affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse, without the consent in writing of the drainage board concerned.

What watercourses does the council regulate?

This duty applies to watercourses which have not been designated as main rivers on the Environment Agency's flood maps. These are known as ordinary watercourses.

Last reviewed
29 January 2016
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