Ordinary watercourse management

We, as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) (under Section 23 of Land Drainage Act 1991) are responsible for consenting works that:

  • propose any changes to the ordinary watercourse
  • alter or obstruct the flow in the watercourse.

You must apply to us for a consent to carry out work, 'Including temporary structures. These may:

  • place or alter a structure within an ordinary watercourse, for example dams, weirs, culverts (pipes) or any other structure
  • affect the flow or storage or water within an ordinary watercourse
  • tend to increase the flood risk in the area. 

This is known as Ordinary Watercourse Consent (OWC), or Land Drainage Consent.

The regulation of ordinary watercourses consists of two elements:

  • issuing of consents for any changes to ordinary watercourses.
  • enforcement action to rectify unlawful and damaging work to a watercourse.

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