Land Drainage and Flood Defence Responsibilities 3rd Edition

Table Of Contents

Contents

1. Outline of responsibilities and statutes 1

Scope of land drainage 1

General principles 1

Principal statutes 3

2. Government departments 7

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 7

Department of the Environment 11

Welsh Office 11

3. Environment Agency 13

Supervisory duty 13

Surveying duty 14

Principal powers - main rivers and ordinary

watercourses 15

Designation of main rivers 17

Powers to ensure maintenance of flow in watercourses 17

Powers to require repairs to watercourses, bridges, etc. 18

Incidental powers 18

Directions to Internal Drainage Boards 19

Power to carry out schemes for small areas 19

Power to make byelaws 19

Flood warning systems 20

Tidal flooding and coastal erosion 20

Financing of land drainage functions 20

General aims and environmental duties 20

4. Internal Drainage Boards 22

Functions and constitution 22

The Land Drainage Act 1991 22

The Water Resources Act 1991 24

Financial arrangements for IDBs 24

5. Local authorities 26

Outline of powers 26

English district councils and unitary authorities and Welsh unitary authorities 27

English county councils and unitary authorities 30

The London authorities 33

6. Riparian owners 35

Riparian rights and duties 35

Nuisance 39

Obstruction to flow - consent procedure 39

Disputes regarding ditches 39

Disputes between neighbours 40

Powers of entry 40

Problems regarding grant aid 40

Flooding emergencies 41

Artificial watercourses 41

Obstruction and flooding 41

7. Differentiation between land drainage and sewerage 43

Difference between a public sewer and a watercourse 43

Guidelines for differentiation 45

Definition of a public sewer 46

Tests to check the status of a public sewer 50

8. Development either side of a watercourse 51

9. Extension of the 'main river' designation of watercourses 55

10. Development planning and development control problems 57

Planning procedures 57

Consideration of land drainage matters 60

Conditions for consent 61

Planning obligations 62

Requirement for information and advice 63

Requirements for works, agreements, etc. 64

Further practical considerations 65

11. Floodplain problems 67

12. Roadside ditches 70

Ownership problems 70

Filling in or culverting 72

Powers of diversion 72

Culverts under highways 73

Acceptance of other flows 73

Drainage to existing sewers 74

Run-off on to highways 74

Right of statutory undertakers to discharge into a ditch or watercourse 74

Ditches maintained by highway authority 74

13. Culverted watercourses 77

Summary of problems 77

Control over culverting 78

Practical problems associated with culverting 79

Legal problems associated with culverting 80

14. Grants and contributions 84

Policy framework 84

Legislation 85

Administration 86

Useful publications 87

Contributions 88

15. Mining subsidence and land drainage 89

Principal statutes 89

Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991 90

Mining Codes 92

Pollution of watercourses 92

16. Sea defence and coast protection 94

17. Land drainage and the environment 97

Introduction 97

Environmental obligations 97

Environmental Assessment 101

18. Bibliography 109

Appendix 1. Flood and coastal defence: organization 113

Appendix 2. Relevant statutes, Sis, EC legislation and Government policy guidance 114

Appendix 3. List of cases 117

Appendix 4. Useful addresses 119