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Consent Application Form

Pre-Application Advice Document

The Swale & Ure Drainage Board is the public body with power under the Land Drainage Act 1991 to exercise a general supervision over all matters relating to the drainage of land within its district and exercise such other powers as are conferred by that Act which includes producing Byelaws, enforceable through the Courts and requiring Board Consent to any proposed action associated with land drainage and the flow of water within the District

The Board undertakes maintenance on what it considers to be strategic main water carriers to facilitate either

a) Agricultural land drainage

b) Flood Risk Protection to people and property.

An application for works within the Drainage District will be required in addition to planning permission.

Consent will be determined by the Board under Section 23 LDA and the Drainage Byelaws created under Section 66.

Section 23 Consent

Section 23 LDA prohibits obstruction etc. in watercourses and states “No person shall erect any mill dam, weir or other like obstruction (or) erect any culvert that would be likely to affect the flow of any watercourse…without the consent in writing of the drainage board concerned”.

Section 66 (Byelaw) Consent

No person shall…. introduce any water into any watercourse in the District so as to directly or indirectly increase the flow or volume of water… without the previous consent of the Board (and) no person…. shall erect any building or structure whether temporary or permanent, or plant any tree, shrub, willow…. without the previous consent of the Board, amongst other byelaws specific to each IDB.

Minimum development standards

  • All proposed developments that are within 9.0 metres of the edge of a boards strategic main water carrier and/or proposed works within a watercourse shall have consent from the IDB.
  •  The 9.0 metres commences landward from the top edge of the watercourse bank. If the existing watercourse is to be reprofiled (although Consent is required), landward of the top edge of the new batter will be the position the 9.0 metres starts
  • Surface Water discharge exiting the site requires restricting to 1.4ls/ha or shall have Consent from the IDB .
  • Separate Consent shall be obtained for permanent works and for temporary works.
  • The IDB will process Consents within its 2 months determination period.
  • Within the application detailed final design drawing will be required including cross sectional drawings of the watercourse illustrating the structure, a longitudinal drawing and general site layout. Assisting this would be an EIA incorporating any protected species noted within the site any associated mitigation measures in accordance with the current Government guidance.

From the IDB perspective, the fact an Internal Drainage Board was created here, advises everyone this is an area with special drainage needs. The Board’s systems are a network of drains developed over generations when much of the land was agricultural. These systems are not designed to accommodate surface water exceeding the green field run-off rate.

The Flood & Water Management Act provides a duty for all Risk Management Authorities to operate together and reduce flood risk to people and property now, and in the future. In areas requiring special drainage need reducing flood risk is achieved by ensuring adequate protection is given to access for watercourse maintenance


Got a question about our drainage network?

If you need further information please look at our frequently asked questions.


For more information about our services or district call us

Thirsk –
01845 525727

Knaresborough –
01423 862271

07970 000068