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Land drainage consent

Under the Land Drainage Act 1991, you will need the consent from Medway Council or the Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board, or Unitary/County council to construct or alter a culvert or flow control structure (such as a weir) on any ordinary watercourse. Some authorities also have their own byelaws.

What is an ordinary watercourse?

An ‘ordinary watercourse’ is defined as a ‘watercourse’ that is not ‘main river’. 'Main Rivers’ are identified on the Environment Agency Flood Map.  The Environment Agency is responsible for determining and issuing consents for works affecting main rivers.

If you are unsure what the designation of a watercourse is, email floodrisk@medway.gov.uk

Who is the relevant authority?

The Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board are responsible for determining and issuing consents relating to works on ordinary watercourses within their administrative boundaries.

Medway Council are responsible for determining and issuing consents relating to works on ordinary watercourses which are not within the boundary of an Internal Drainage Board.

Applying for consent

It is essential that anyone who intends to carry out works in, over, under or near an ordinary watercourse or main river contacts the relevant authority to find out whether a Land Drainage Consent is required before starting the work.  This is to ensure that any works do not endanger life or property by increasing the risk of flooding or cause harm to the water environment.

Contact us to discuss your application in case formal consent is not required for your planned works.  For further advice that will help avoid unnecessary delays phone us on 01634 33 33 33 or email floodrisk@medway.gov.uk

We are not able to retrospectively consent works that have been undertaken without prior consent.  In these cases we will normally take action to ensure that remedial action is taken.

If you are planning works near, in, or over water, refer to the Environment Agency’s Pollution Prevention Guidelines 5, this guidance provides advice on how to make sure your works protect the environment and meets legal requirements, including waste management.