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Water Act 2014

Section 63: Repeal of certain provisions about culverts

226.This section repeals sections 262 and 263 of the Public Health Act 1936.

227.Section 262 of the Public Health Act 1936 gives local authorities power to require the culverting of watercourses and ditches where building operations are proposed. Section 262 was introduced to allow watercourses to be covered so that they did not cause health problems. The approach now is to address the pollution and not cover up the watercourse. In addition the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Body for Wales discourage culverting as it is not consistent with good surface run-off.

228.Under section 263 watercourses in urban districts may not be culverted except in accordance with plans approved by the local authority.

229.Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991 and section 109 of the WRA require that owners/occupiers who wish to erect or alter any mill dam, weir or other like obstruction to a watercourse, or erect or alter any culvert must seek the prior consent from either the Lead Local Flood Authority, the relevant internal drainage board, the Environment Agency or the Natural Resources Body for Wales depending on the location of the proposed works. In combination with section 263 of the Public Health Act 1936 these provisions require that owner/occupiers apply for parallel consents from a number of bodies. Section 263 of the Public Health Act 1936 is being repealed in order to remove the requirement for parallel consents.

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