Guidance

Flood risk and land drainage byelaws

How local councils and internal drainage boards (IDBs) can make byelaws to prevent an increase in flood risk or to manage land drainage.

You can create flood risk and land drainage byelaws in response to existing or potential problems.

Create byelaws

You should draft your byelaws using either of the following model byelaws:

If you want to change these model byelaws, you should email flood.reports@defra.gsi.gov.uk at least 1 month before you advertise them. Send your proposed byelaws with an explanation of why you think any changes are necessary and why the byelaws are needed.

You don’t have to tell Defra about your changes to the model byelaws. However, if you discuss any changes with Defra before submitting your byelaws, this can speed up the application process.

You should consult Natural England and any local navigation authority or harbour authority to make sure that your proposed byelaw doesn’t conflict with their byelaws.

If your byelaw will affect designated sites or species you must discuss your proposals with Natural England.

Make your byelaws

Defra will check your draft model byelaws if you consult them. Before you advertise your byelaws, you must make them by getting the ‘appropriate persons’ (ie, your chief executive, chairperson or clerk) to sign and date them.

Advertise your proposed byelaws in at least one newspaper in the area affected by your byelaws. Use this suggested wording for your advert (ODT, 6.87KB) . Your advertising should give everyone an equal opportunity to object to the proposals.

Leave a copy of the byelaws at your offices for public inspection for at least one month. You must give a copy to anyone who asks for one.

You must tell anyone who objects to your proposals to write to you with their objections.

You must publicise your proposed byelaws. Your advertising should show that whatever media you use, it gives everyone an equal opportunity to object to the proposals. For example, advertise online and in at least one local newspaper in the area affected by the byelaws, and write to affected parties.

Send a copy of the notice with the byelaws to every local authority whose area lies wholly or partly within the affected area and to any other public authorities who might be concerned.

Leave a copy of the byelaws at your offices for public inspection for a period of at least one month. You must give a copy to anyone who asks for one.

You must tell anyone who wants to object to your proposals to write to you with their objections.

Objections

You should respond to all objectors in writing explaining why you believe your proposed byelaws are justified, or how you intend to change them in response to their comments.

You should also invite objectors to consider withdrawing their objections, giving a period of at least 2 weeks for them to withdraw or sustain their objections, or offer further comments. If objectors don’t respond, their objections stand.

If you significantly amend your byelaw to meet objectors’ concerns, you should then advertise the amended byelaws. Affected parties can then comment on the new proposals.

If any objections aren’t withdrawn or resolved before you submit your proposal to the Defra minister for confirmation, the minister may consider them when you apply for confirmation.

Apply for confirmation of the byelaws

You can apply to the minister for confirmation of the byelaws one month after either of the following:

  • the date of publication of the notice
  • the last date of publication if more than one newspaper is used

You must send 2 sealed copies of the byelaws signed by an authorised person, ie the chairperson, chief executive officer or clerk, and:

  • an explanation of why the byelaws are necessary
  • a statement of where the byelaws were deposited and advertised, with the dates and times
  • a copy of the newspaper pages and any website pages where the byelaws were advertised, with a statement that you made appropriate efforts to reach all affected parties
  • copies of any objections sent to you and your response - if you didn’t get any, include a statement explaining that you got no objections
  • a statement of when the local and other public authorities (Natural England, local navigation authority or harbour authority) were notified

You’ll be sent a confirmation certificate after the byelaws are confirmed. You must print the byelaws, including a statement that they were confirmed by the minister and the date they were confirmed. You can can do this by adding a copy of the confirmation certificate to the byelaws.

You must make the byelaws available to the public for free at all reasonable hours. You should also publish the byelaws on your website.

Contact

Defra
Flood Management Division
Area 3C
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London
SW1P 3JR

flood.reports@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Published 26 May 2016