Working Near Water - consents (England & Wales)

Do I need a permit to work near water?

When undertaking works which affect a water body you may need to apply for flood defence consent from the Environment Agency on Main Rivers and either Lead Local Flood Authorities or Internal Drainage Boards on Ordinary Watercourses. For more information and guidance see:

Do I need a WFD Compliance Assessment?

When undertaking FCERM activities, you need to ensure you:

  • Do not make things worse and cause a water body’s ecology to deteriorate
  • Do not prevent the environmental improvements identified in the RBMP from being undertaken
  • Seek opportunities to undertake environmental improvements to achieve Good Ecological Potential

In addition to flood defence consents you will also need to screen your works to see if a WFD compliance assessment will be needed. The Environment Agency can advise you on this for Main Rivers. On Ordinary Watercourses you will need to contact the relevant Lead Local Flood Authorities or Internal Drainage Boards for advice. WFD assessment guidance will be available on the Environment Agency webpages in 2014.

The Environment Agency's National Customer Contact Centre will be able to advise you if other licenses are needed and will be able to put you in contact with relevant staff to advise on Flood Defence Consent applications: 03708 506 506* (Mon-Fri, 8am - 6pm).