Ordinary watercourse consent

Under the terms of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Bury Council became the Lead Local Flood Authority and gained responsibility for consenting works that may affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse.

An 'ordinary watercourse' is a watercourse that is not part of the Environment Agency's main river network. These include smaller rivers, streams, ditches, drains, cuts, culverts, dikes, sluices, sewers (other than public sewers within the meaning of the Water Industry Act 1991) and passages, through which water flows.

If your watercourse is part of a main river then you will need to apply for consent from the Environment Agency and not Bury Council. To identify whether your watercourse is a main river, visit the Environment Agency's website using the External Links section of this page.

As a Lead Local Flood Authority, we are responsible for managing local flood risk which includes flooding caused by unconsented alterations to ordinary watercourses. If you intend to carry out work which may affect the flow or storage of water, you need to apply to us for consent.

Applying for consent

To apply for consent for works affecting an ordinary watercourse you must complete the application form for an Ordinary Watercourse Land Drainage Consent.

Approval is also required for any temporary works affecting the watercourse and a method of undertaking will need to be submitted prior to these works commencing.

Please contact us before you start your application - we may be able to advise you that consent is not required for your planned work, or give you advice that will help avoid unnecessary delays. You can ring us on 0161 253 5847 for an informal discussion.

It is essential the application is completed accurately and for accompanying information to be clear. If any information is missing, determination of your application could be delayed. One application form can be made for multiple structures, if located in the same area or on the same watercourse.

Please send the completed application, fee and accompanying information application to:

Ordinary Watercourse Applications, Andy Southgate, Engineering Design & Construction Group, Bury Council, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury, BL9 0EJ.

Apply for Ordinary Watercourse consent

Contact for Strategic Planning and Economic Development