How to apply for consent for works affecting a watercourse | Oxfordshire County Council

How to apply for consent for works affecting a watercourse

Guidance on how to apply for works affecting a watercourse

Ordinary watercourses include streams, drains and ditches and culverts / pipes through which water flows and that do not form part of a main river (see below for main river consents) or sewers.  This includes watercourses that may be dry for part of the year.

Who issues consent?

If you are planning on undertaking any work affecting an ordinary watercourse, you may require consent under the Land Drainage Act (1991) from Oxfordshire County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) the regulating body. However, it has been agreed that the City and District Councils will undertake this work on our behalf under an agency agreement. Ordinary watercourses include streams, drains and ditches and passages through which water flows and that do not form part of a main river.

Where an ordinary watercourse falls within the relevant City and District Council boundaries they will be responsible for consenting, with the exception of the Cherwell District Council area which will be undertaken by the County Council.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency regulates watercourses that have been designated as main rivers; these are classified as such on the official Environment Agency Main River Map. Visit the Environment Agency's consent page to apply for consent for works on a main river or phone 03708 506 506.

How to apply for an ordinary watercourse consent

We recommend you contact the relevant City or District Council (except in the Cherwell area where you will need to contact Oxfordshire County Council) as early as possible for advice to determine whether your proposals will be deemed to affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse and therefore require consent.

We can also advise on what to include with your application, other organisations that you may need to consult on your proposal and how long it is likely to take us to determine your application.

When all the preliminary details have been agreed we will ask you to fill in an application form (doc format, 58Kb) for land drainage consent for ordinary watercourses . Please note that there is a fee of £50 per application (we do not charge for enquiries).

For further information:

Local council contacts

Last reviewed
02 December 2015
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