3. Consenting

Oldham Council is now the consenting authority for works on Ordinary Watercourses. 

An ordinary watercourse is any river, stream, ditch, drain, sluice, sewer (other than a public sewer) or passage through which water flows and does not form part of a main river.

The Environment Agency retains responsibility for consents relating to main rivers.

It is essential that anyone who intends carrying out works that could obstruct the flow in an ordinary watercourse or that involve culverting an ordinary watercourse contacts the relevant authority to obtain any necessary consents before starting work.  This is to ensure that any works do not endanger life or property by increasing the risk of flooding or cause harm to the water environment.

Land drainage consent is required for:

  • The erection of or alteration to any mill, dam, weir or similar obstruction to the flow of any ordinary watercourse, or
  • The construction of a culvert in any ordinary watercourse, or
  • The alteration of a culvert in a way that would be likely to affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse, or
  • Temporary works in an ordinary watercourse such as scaffolding, a dam, pumping off excessive water, or any major drainage work

Applying for consent

If you wish to carry out any of the above works, please be aware that consent must be determined before you begin your works. Applications are subject to statutory 2 month determination period and may require a fee to be paid.

Please contact us before beginning your application as we may be able to advise you whether or not consent is required and inform you if there are any fees that need to be paid. We may also be able offer advice that could help avoid any unnecessary delays.

You can ring the Local Flood Risk team 0161 770 4306 for an informal discussion, or email us at LLFA@oldham.gov.uk with a contact number and an officer will call you back.

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.