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:
You can be prosecuted and may be fined or go to prison if you do not 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 do not 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: