You may need permission to do work on or near a river, flood defence or sea defence.
There are different ways of getting permission, depending on whether you’re working on:
- a sea defence or main river (including its flood plains and flood defences) - check which are main rivers
- other watercourses
You can be prosecuted and may be fined or go to prison if you don’t get permission when you need it.
Main rivers and sea defences
Check if you need a permit - you might just need to tell the Environment Agency about your work.
If you already have a flood defence consent you don’t need to apply for a new permit.
For work on or near all other watercourses you must apply for Ordinary Watercourse Consent.
Apply by contacting either: