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Guidance on applying for watercourse consent

Before you apply for consent

You will need to provide us with enough information for us to consider and decide on your application including:

  • Description of your development - tell us the purpose of the development / works and the number of structures you need consent for. We also need detailed information on the design proposals and methodology.
  • Reasons for it to be built - please ensure that all proposed works are in line with our Culvert Policy – applications made for the purpose of gaining garden space will most likely be rejected.
  • Plans and sections – we will need copies of engineering plans and drawings showing all of the structures and the adjacent watercourse.
  • Construction details - is your structure permanent or temporary? We will need details of when you plan to carry out the work and how long it will take.
  • Planning approvals - you’ll need to provide details of planning permissions you may have or are applying for that relate to your development.
  • Maintenance of the structure - you must tell us in your application who will be responsible for maintaining the structure during development and after.
  • The effect of the watercourse on the environment – we will consider the effects your structure may have on the environment. We will need detailed evidence that shows the impact on the environment. We recommend you include site photographs for ecological purposes.
  • Meeting the terms of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment – your development proposal must meet the terms of the Water Framework which protects watercourses and wildlife that live in them.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply for ordinary watercourse consent but it is specifically granted to the owner of the land containing the work so please make sure they have been spoken to first.

Did you know we offer pre-application advice?

This service can greatly increase your chances of having your application approved first time.

You will receive a consultation on the acceptability of your proposal  with one of our engineers. They will also guide you as to what information should be submitted for a successful application. In some situations there will be no acceptable proposal and so it cannot be guaranteed that a pre application consultation will lead to granting of consent.

To apply just complete our online application form. We aim to provide you with engineering advice within 28 days depending on the engineer’s workload and the complexity of the application. If you have any questions relating to the pre-application process, please contact us at

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