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If you wish to undertake work within a watercourse you may need permission from the appropriate authority. This depends on whether the watercourse is classed as a main river or an ordinary watercourse and the type of work you are undertaking. If the watercourse is classed as a main river you will need to apply for a Flood Risk Activity Permit from Natural Resources Wales. If it is an ordinary watercourse you need to apply for an Ordinary Watercourse Consent from Monmouthshire County Council (or Natural Resources Wales if it is within an Internal Drainage District). An online map showing main rivers is available from Natural Resources Wales.

What is an Ordinary Watercourse?

An ordinary watercourse is defined as a watercourse that is not a main river, and includes rivers, streams, drains and ditches, and passages through which water flows.

Why is Ordinary Watercourse Consent needed?

Regulation is required in order to minimise the risk of flooding and to ensure that there is no increased flood risk on a particular site, avoiding any adverse effects on people and the environment. The process consists of issuing consents for acceptable work and undertaking enforcement action when appropriate to deal with unacceptable activities.

We encourage you to contact us in advance of applying for consent so that we can discuss your requirements, provide advice and ensure that your application is valid and completed correctly.

Only certain types of works, under the Land Drainage Act 1991, require consent such as changing or altering a mill, dam, weir and any culvert which is likely to affect the water flow. Both permanent and temporary works affecting the flow of a watercourse may require consent.

Further Information