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Land Drainage Act 1991

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23 Prohibition on obstructions etc. in watercoursesE+W

(1)No person shall—

(a)erect any mill dam, weir or other like obstruction to the flow of any ordinary watercourse or raise or otherwise alter any such obstruction; or

[F1(b)erect a culvert in an ordinary watercourse, or

(c)alter a culvert in a manner that would be likely to affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse,]

without the consent in writing of the drainage board concerned.

[F2(1A)Consent under this section may be given subject to reasonable conditions.]

[F2(1B) An internal drainage board or lead local flood authority must consult the [F3appropriate agency] before carrying out work within subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) if the board or authority is “ the drainage board concerned ” for the purposes of this section. ]

[F2(1C)The drainage board concerned must have regard to any guidance issued by the [F4appropriate supervisory body] about the exercise of the board's functions under this section.]

(2)The drainage board concerned may require the payment of an application fee by a person who applies to them for their consent under this section; and the amount of that fee shall be £50 or such other sum as may be [F5prescribed].

(3)Where an application is made to the drainage board concerned for their consent under this section—

(a)the consent is not to be unreasonably withheld; and

(b)if the board fail within two months after the relevant day to notify the applicant in writing of their determination with respect to the application, they shall be deemed to have consented.

(4)In subsection (3) above “the relevant day”, in relation to an application for a consent under this section, means whichever is the later of—

(a)the day on which the application is made; and

(b)if at the time when the application is made an application fee is required to be paid, the day on which the liability to pay that fee is discharged.

(5)If any question arises under this section whether the consent of the drainage board concerned is unreasonably withheld, that question shall be referred to a single arbitrator to be agreed between the parties or, failing such agreement, to be appointed by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the application of either party.

(6)Nothing in this section shall apply—

(a)to any works under the control of a navigation authority, harbour authority or conservancy authority; or

(b)to any works carried out or maintained under or in pursuance of any Act or any order having the force of an Act.

(7)The power of the Ministers to make an order under subsection (2) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

[F6(7A) In subsection (2) above “ prescribed ” means specified in, or determined in accordance with, an order made by the Ministers; and any such order may make different provision for different cases, including different provision in relation to different persons, circumstances or localities. ]

(8)Subject to section 8 above, references in this section and [F7 sections 24 and 25 ] below to the drainage board concerned—

(a)in relation to a watercourse in an internal drainage district, are references to the drainage board for that district; and

[F8(b)in relation to a watercourse in an area outside an internal drainage district, are references to the lead local flood authority for the area.]

[F9(9)Lead local flood authority” has the meaning given by section 6 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 23(1)(b)(c) substituted for s. 23(1)(b) (6.4.2012) by Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (c. 29), s. 49(3), Sch. 2 para. 32(2) (with s. 49(1)(6)); S.I. 2012/879, art. 3(b) (with art. 4)

F5Word in s. 23(2) substituted (21.9.1995) by 1995 c. 25, s. 120(1), Sch. 22, para. 192(1)(with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1995/1983, art. 3

F6S. 23(7A) inserted (21.9.1995) by 1995 c. 25, s. 120(1), Sch. 22, para. 192(2)(with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1995/1983, art. 3

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 23 applied (21.07.1997) by 1994 c. xiii, s. 40

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