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Environmental permitting for flood risk activities

If you want to carry out works in, over, under or near a main river or flood defence (including a sea defence), or within a flood plain you will need to apply for Flood Risk Activity Permit. (This was previously called a Flood Defence Consent.)

Why do you need a Flood Risk Activity Permit?

You need to obtain our permission to ensure that your activities do not cause a risk of flooding or make existing flood risk worse. A permit is also necessary to ensure your work will not interfere with our flood risk management assets or adversely affect the local environment, fisheries or wildlife.

If you do not apply for a Flood Risk Activity Permit, the consequences could be expensive. We can reclaim from you the costs of putting things right and you could also be prosecuted.

Is your proposed activity on a main river?

A main river is legally defined as a watercourse that is shown on a main river map. If the location of your proposed activity is on a main river, you will need to apply for a Flood Risk Activity Permit.

If the location of your proposed activity is not a main river, it could be an ordinary watercourse. To carry out the activity, you will need to contact the authority responsible for that particular watercourse and apply for an Ordinary Watercourse Consent. The Lead Local Flood Authority for that area will be responsible for distributing these permits and we recommend that you contact them for information and advice.

If the location of your activity is on a main river that lies within an Internal Drainage District (IDD) you will need to apply to Natural Resources Wales for a Flood Risk Activity Permit. If the location of your activity is on a watercourse in an IDD that is not a main river, you will need to apply to us for a Land Drainage consent.

If you are unsure whether the watercourse in question is a main river, ordinary watercourse, or part of an IDD, please contact us.

If you propose to undertake any works to, on or within 8m of a flood defence structure, you will need to apply for a Flood Risk Activity Permit. If you are unsure whether your activity will require a FRAP, please contact us for advice.

Before you apply for a permit

You may be eligible to register for a Flood Risk Activity Exemption or undertake your proposed activity as a Flood Risk Activity Exclusion. Eligibility will depend upon the type of activity you wish to carry out and if certain conditions can be met. You can use the links below to check the list and requirements for Flood Risk Activity Exemptions and Exclusions.

We recommend that you contact us to discuss your plans before you apply for a Flood Risk Activity Permit.

Avoid delays

Talking to us early on will help avoid delays and wasted effort. Contact us through our Customer Care Centre and you will be directed to a member of staff with specialist knowledge in your area.

Once preliminary details have been agreed, we will ask you to fill in the appropriate application form.

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