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Apply for consent to alter a watercourse

Under the Land Drainage Act (1991), you need consent if you want to build a culvert or structure (such as a weir) which might affect the flow of water on any ordinary watercourse.

You should only continue with the application on this page if you are applying for consent for an ordinary watercourse within the city of Leicester, which is managed by Leicester City Council.

Please use our online flood risk mapping system to view the Ordinary Watercourses. The Ordinary Watercourses are those marked in Blue as 'Other River' under Watercourse in the legend. You can also use this version of our maps to view other flood risk information specific to Leicester, which are products from our Flood risk studies.

If you are looking to apply for consent within the County of Leicestershire, please visit the Leicestershire County Council website.

How much will it cost to submit an application?

There is a charge of £50 per application, as specified under the Land Drainage Act (1991).

Before submitting an application

Before completing the application form, we recommended that you contact us for advice on your proposal, using the contact details provided below:

  • Address: Flooding and Drainage team, Castle Park Depot, 90 Leycroft Road, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, LE4 1BZ
  • Email:

How long will my application take to process?

We will get back to you within two months from the date an application has been submitted. We will review the application and provide a decision on consent in writing. If you have not heard from us within the two months from submission, you will automatically be granted consent.

A decision will be made only on the information that is provided within the application. If after the application has been submitted, an alteration is required you may be required to submit a new application.

How do I apply?

You can submit an application to apply for consent using the following link:

Guidance notes for submitting an application

The guidance below provides information to help you fill in the application form and is broken down section by section.

Please read through these guidance notes and the associated application form carefully, before submitting an application. If you are unsure about anything, or if you need help completing the application form, please contact us using the contact details above.

1.1 The Applicant and Agent

Enter the details. If there is an Agent, we will contact them about the application. The address you give in this section must be the address the Land Drainage Consent will be registered to and this address will be shown on any Land Drainage Consent we grant. We cannot process any application for consent if you do not provide a UK registered address.

1.2:  Type of Applicant

Please tick one box to indicate the type of Applicant you are.

1.3: Applications from companies

Fill in this section if you would like to apply for Land Drainage Consent as a registered company. To apply as a company, you must be a company formally registered with Companies House. Any Land Drainage Consent you get will be in the company name registered with Companies House.

1.4: Applications from groups of individuals

Fill in this section if you would like to apply as a charity, group of individuals, club or partnership. Enter the name of your group. The name you give will be the name on any Land Drainage Consent we grant. If you are a limited liability partnership, please give the full name.

1.5: Applications from public bodies

Fill in this section if you would like to apply as a public body such as a Local Authority or an NHS trust. Please give us the full name of the public body. The name you give will be the name on any Land Drainage Consent we grant. Please specify what type of public body you are.

1.6: Your interest in the land

We need to know what interest you have in the land where the works will be carried out (for example, whether you are the landowner or tenant). If any work will be carried out on land that you do not own, you will need permission from whoever owns the land. In the instance you do not own the land, a copy of written permission from the landowner must be provided and submitted as part of the application. Without this the application will not be processed.

We need to be able to easily identify where the proposed works will be carried out. Please give details of the location of the site and attach a location plan (at a scale of 1:1250) with the works and structures clearly marked.

You can find the Grid Reference of your site from our web mapping system. Go to our online mapping system. Search for your site using the location search box or ‘drop the pin’ tool on your site location. Hover over the pin and the grid references will be shown in the pop-up box in the map window.

You can find the names of any Ordinary Watercourses in Leicester on our online flood risk mapping system.

It is important that you accurately describe the proposals for the application being made, including the purpose of the works. Please specify the dimensions and purposes of any new or altered structures, whether they are temporary or permanent, the materials to be used and any other relevant information. If necessary, this can be provided on a separate document, if it is referenced in this section of the application form.

Please tell us the number of structures you need consent for, clearly stating whether they are temporary or permanent in nature.

Structures include but not limited to; culverts, bridges, weirs, dams, headwalls (inlets and outfalls), walls, bank reinforcement (erosion protection), channel alteration (coir rolls or physical excavations), trash and security screens, booms (litter and oil control), piers, launching points, temporary working platforms, scaffolding and equipment.

We may ask you to revise this section of your application to present specified structures.

To adequately understand and consider your proposals we need to receive plans and drawings, drawn to scale by a competent engineer or surveyor and show the Ordnance Datum Newlyn (the height above sea level). The drawings must be no larger than A0 size, and they need to include the following:

Location plan: This must be at an appropriate scale, which must be stated and be based on an Ordnance Survey map. It must clearly show the general location of the site where the proposed work will be carried out and include general features and street names. It must also identify the watercourse or other bodies of water in the surrounding area.

Site plan (general arrangement): The plan should be drawn to an appropriate scale, which must be clearly stated. You must provide a plan of the site showing:

  • The existing site, including any watercourse
  • Your proposals
  • The position of any structures which may influence local river hydraulics, including bridges, pipes and ducts, ways of crossing the watercourse, culverts and screens, embankments, walls, outfalls and so on; and existing fish passes, or structures intended to allow fish to pass upstream and downstream.

Cross sections: Where works encroach into any watercourse, you should provide cross sections of the structures and areas upstream and downstream of the proposed works. Cross sections should be drawn as if looking downstream on the watercourse and should include details of existing and proposed features and water levels.

Longitudinal sections: Longitudinal sections taken along the center line of the watercourse is needed. These must show the existing and proposed features including water levels, bed levels and structures. They should extend both upstream and downstream of the proposed work.

Detailed drawings: These are to show details of the existing and proposed features such as the following:

  • The materials to be used for any
  • The location of any proposed service pipes or cables which may affect the future maintenance of the
  • Details of any tree, shrub, hedgerow, pond or wetland area that may be affected by the proposed
  • Details of any planting or seeding.
  • Dams and weirs. (We need a plan showing the extent of the water impounded (held back) under normal and flood conditions so that we can assess the possible effect on land next to the river. The plan must also show any land drains to be)

You need separate consents for the permanent works and any temporary works that do not form part of the permanent works. Temporary works could include, for example, cofferdams (watertight enclosures) across a watercourse, or temporary diversions of water while work is carried out.

We need to know when you are proposing to carry out the work and how long you think it will take. When you are planning the work, you need to make sure that you have allowed enough time for us to consider your application.

For any work (temporary or permanent), we need to know how you are proposing to carry out the work. You will need to send a 'Construction Method Statement' as a separate document, and it should be referenced in this section of the application form.  

To help prepare a 'Construction Method Statement', the following points detail what must be included for the Construction Method Statement to be considered acceptable:

  • Provide a step-by-step description of how the works are to be completed and this should be completed sequentially for each structure (temporary and permanent). 
  • Clearly define the Phasing of the works, if applicable and provide dates for each of the phases. 
  • Identify the plant and equipment that will be used, where and how it will be stored and secured (in areas of lowest flood risk) and outline the measures that will be integrated to protect the flood plain and riverbanks of the river (compaction, furrowing, stability and collapse etc.) from the movement and operation of any plant (use of track matting etc.) 
  • Define the procedure for managing flood risk throughout the duration of the works; use of flood risk warning and weather alerts, stopping of work and evacuation procedures (personnel, plant and materials) in response to any potential flooding events. It should also outline how temporary works are to be managed/removed prior to an event and their security during an event if they cannot be removed. 
  • Refer to how risks associated with confined watercourses and access are to be managed throughout the duration of the works. 
  • Outline measures to minimise excess sediment, vegetation and any materials entering the watercourse and any measures that will be utilised to minimise blockage of the watercourse and/or associated infrastructure such as culvert. 
  • Outline measures to protect private/public property in and around the proposed work area, as well as the procedure for reporting and recording damaged to private/public property.  
  • Clearly outline the processes and controls to minimise the possibility of pollution incidents and the procedure for reporting a pollution incident. For example, identify where materials and waste will be stored and managed and how the condition of the plant will be maintained to minimize the chance of petrochemical spills. All pollution incidents are to be reported to the Environment Agency. 
  • Refer to any ecology and biodiversity protection that are required. 
  • Define any other Environmental organisations that have been consulted regarding the developments proposals, the reasoning and the outcome; Environment Agency (environmental permits), Natural England (Protected species and designations), Canals and Rivers Trust (permissions), other Leicester City Council departments (i.e., Nature Conservation and Flooding and Drainage) etc. 
  • Provide suitable contact information for use in the instance that a site visit or clarifications are required. 


Each Construction Method Statement is specific to the scope of works. In some cases, amendment in line with feedback from the Leicester City Council will be required. This is to ensure that:

  • risk is adequately managed,
  • the safety of personnel, equipment and the wide water environment
  • protection of the watercourse, it is existing structures and the flood plain.

Please tick the appropriate boxes. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, you will probably need an Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency before you can start work. You should make sure that you have enough time to get all approvals you need before you start work. If you do not, this could delay the work.

Please provide details of any planning permissions you may have or are applying for that relates to this proposal, referring to your planning application number, where applicable.

You can find out whether you need planning permission as part of your proposal by visiting Do I need planning permission?’.

We need to know who will be responsible for maintenance during construction and after the work has finished. This is for enforcement purposes.

We have a legal duty to protect and improve the environment, so we must consider the environmental effects of your proposal. You may need to carry out an environmental appraisal to assess the effects of your work. You should contact us before you send us your application so that we can give you advice on this. If you do not, your application could be delayed.

The environmental appraisal should identify all likely effects on the environment. You should consider the direct and indirect effects the work has on sites and features of interest and species of value. Include any specific measures you plan to keep disruption to a minimum and reduce any unwanted effects while the work is being carried out.

Set out any opportunities for you to improve the environmental value of the site. This may include creating water features, planting trees and shrubs that would normally grow at the site, providing bird nesting boxes or creating sustainable places for wildlife to live.

If as part of a planning permission we have asked for an environmental appraisal, you must send it to us with all the other supporting documents we need.

If your site falls within, is next to or is linked to a nature conservation site, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your proposals before you send us your application.

Under The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, we must make sure that Land Drainage Consent does not have a direct or indirect negative effect on any site specified in the regulations, including:

  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s)
  • Designated Special Areas of Conservation (SAC’s)
  • Special Protection Areas (SPA’s)
  • Listed Ramsar sites
  • Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAM’s)

In addition, we may be required to consult Natural England as part of your application. You are entitled to contact them yourself to get their views on your proposal. Any correspondence from Natural England must be submitted as part of the application.

Tick the relevant documents in this section so that we know what you are sending.

By signing this section, you are declaring that, as far as you know, the information you have provided, including the map and any supporting documents, is true. We will not accept any application, where the declaration has not been signed.

Where applying as a company which has trustees, all trustees must sign the declaration.

Where applying as a limited company, a company secretary or a director must sign the declaration.

The fee for Land Drainage Consent, where charged, is £50 as defined within Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act (1991). Please contact Leicester City Council using the information provided below, before submitting this application to organise payment.

Payment can be made by:

  • BACS (Preferred)
  • Via Customer Services

Any application received without prior payment, will not be processed until payment has been received.

If I have been granted consent, how long do I have to complete the works?

Once a decision has been granted you have one year from the date the consent is issued to complete the works, unless otherwise specified by the conditions of the consent. You are required to notify us in writing seven working days before the commencement of any works onsite, referring to the consent reference number.

If during the period of works, you encounter something that requires amendment to or is not covered by your application, you must contact us as soon as possible. We will advise on what action must be taken next. You may be required to cease operations, until this has been resolved. In some cases, you may also be required to submit a new application. Failure to comply with any of these steps or the conditions stipulated within your consent may lead to the consent being revoked.  

Please direct all notifications or any queries regard approved consents to, quoting the consent reference no.