Ordinary Watercourse Consent

If works are to be undertaken involving an ordinary watercourse then consent must be given by the LLFA.

The Land Drainage Act 1991 gave Essex County Council the responsibility for ordinary watercourse consents or Section 23 Consents (S23 Consents).

This mean that if you are proposing to undertake the following works you will require ordinary watercourse consent from the Lead Local Flood Authority (Essex County Council) under Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991:

  1. erection of 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. erection of a culvert in an ordinary watercourse, or
  3. alteration a culvert in a manner that would be likely to affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse.

For works affecting main rivers the prior written consent of the Environment Agency is required under the Water Resources Act 1991 and Environment Agency Byelaws.

Therefore, if you would like to pipe, bridge or alter a watercourse as a part of your application then a S23 Consent is required from the LLFA. However, it must be made clear that a S23 Consent is a separate application and not part of the planning application process. More information on how to apply for consent can be found here. 

Alternatively, if you require more information on the LLFA's culvert policy, or you would like further advice and assistance in regards to gaining ordinary watercourse consent, then please apply for the LLFA's ordinary watercourse preapp advice service.


Page updated: 19/08/2020


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