Flood Risk Management Authorities

The Flood and Water Management Act identified certain organisations as ‘Risk Management Authorities’ which have various responsibilities around flooding.

The Environment Agency is the Risk Management Authority responsible for all main rivers (see box) in Northamptonshire. If you are planning to erect or alter a structure in, under, above or within 9 metres of a main river, you will need to discuss your plans with your local Environment Agency office and obtain flood defence consent before you start work. Email: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk Tel: 03708 506506 Web: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/

Northamptonshire County Council, as Lead Local Authority, is the Risk Management Authority responsible for the management of flood risk from surface water runoff, ordinary watercourses and groundwater. If you are planning to erect or alter a structure in, under, above or near an ordinary watercourse (see box), you will need to discuss your plans with and obtain flood defence consent from the Bedford Group of Internal Drainage Boards, who have taken on the role of the Risk Management Authority on behalf of the County Council for consenting and associated enforcement on ordinary watercourses. Email: contact@idbs.org.uk Tel: 01234 354396 Web: www.idbs.org.uk For more information on riparian owner and risk management authority responsibilities in Northamptonshire please contact the Flood and Water Management team at Northamptonshire County Council. Email: floodandwater@northamptonshire.gov.uk Tel: 01604 366014 Web: www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/councilservices/environ/flood/pages/default.aspx

Buckinghamshire County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority Responsible for managing local sources of flood risk, i.e. flood risk from groundwater, surface runoff and ordinary watercourses (watercourses that are not classified as “main river”).

Works on watercourses – Here is some guidance on what type of work needs consent and how to go about applying for it.

If you own land or property next to a river, stream or ditch, then you are a ‘riparian landowner’. To understand your responsibilities as a riparian owner, read Buckinghamshire County Council’s Riparian Owners’ Guide available to download below. You can also read the Environment Agency’s ‘Living on the edge’ booklet.

Who to apply to – Please read our guidance to find out if you should apply to us or to another agency. The guidance below only covers applications for the ordinary watercourse consents that come under our remit.

What works need consent – Under the Land Drainage Act 1991 the erection or alteration of any mill, dam, culvert, weir or other like obstruction to the flow of an ordinary watercourse requires local authority consent. Example cross sections of activities that require consent can be found below. Consent is required for both permanent and temporary works.