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You may need permission to do work on or near a river, flood defence or sea defence.
These rules apply to England only. There are different rules for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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.
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:
Telephone: 03708 506 506
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges
Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
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