Guidance

Changes to your Flood Defence Consent after 6 April 2016

How the environmental permitting regulations affect existing Flood Defence Consents and applications already submitted.

On 6 April 2016 any activity with a Flood Defence Consent (FDC) came under environmental permitting rules.

If your activity is covered by environmental permitting

Your FDC has automatically become an environmental permit if it’s for activities that need an environmental permit.

You must continue to carry out the activity within the conditions of your FDC.

If you haven’t completed the work your FDC covers and want to change the details of what you’re doing, or how you’re doing it, you must apply to change your FDC.

If your activity is excluded

Read the excluded flood risk activities to find out:

  • if your activity is excluded from environmental permitting
  • the conditions that apply to your work

If your activity is excluded, your FDC has automatically lapsed and you no longer need consent. But you are breaking the law if you don’t operate within the description and conditions of your exclusion.

If your activity is exempt

You don’t need to register your activity as an exemption - your FDC is automatically treated as if it is registered.

Read the exempt flood risk activities to find out:

  • if your activity is exempt from environmental permitting
  • the conditions that apply to your work if it’s an exempt activity

You are breaking the law if you don’t operate within the description and conditions of your exemption.

Activities not covered by environmental permitting

If the activity under your FDC isn’t one of the activities that need an environmental permit, your FDC is no longer valid or no longer needed.

For example, with your previous FDC you may have needed an FDC to do your work inside a certain buffer distance from a main river. Under environmental permitting this distance has been reduced in some places, meaning activities in some locations are no longer regulated.

You can continue to do your activity and must comply with any other environmental legislation that applies to your activity, such as nature and conservation laws to protect species and habitats.

If you don’t follow the conditions of your permit, exemption or exclusion

Find out how the Environment Agency will regulate you if you:

  • carry out activities without a permit or registered exemption
  • carry out activities not covered by your permit
  • break the conditions of your permit, exemption or exclusion

FDC applications made after 6 April 2016

If you applied for an FDC after 6 April 2016, your application will be treated as an application for an environmental permit, even if you used old forms. You may receive requests for further information or payment depending on what activities you have proposed to do.

Ongoing enforcement of FDCs issued before 6 April 2016

If the Environment Agency is in the middle of legal action against you or a breach that occurred before 6 April 2016, its case against you will continue unchanged.

Published 6 April 2016
Last updated 13 October 2016 + show all updates
  1. This guidance has been re-written to meet GOV.UK standards and to make it clearer and easier for customers to use.
  2. First published.