Our use of cookies We use necessary cookies to make our site work. Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, website analytics and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our privacy policy.

To agree to our use of cookies, click the 'Accept' button.
Accept
 

National lockdown: Stay at home

Regulation of ordinary watercourses

Riparian land ownership is a legal term given to a landowner who owns land adjacent to a watercourse (river, stream, ditch etc.). Riparian landowners are responsible for maintaining the flow of water through their land and obtaining prior approval before carrying out any alterations.

We have the power to regulate ordinary watercourses and if issues are found we can enforce the following:

  • the requirement to carry out repairs
     
  • the requirement to remove or modify unconsented works
     
  • the requirement to undertake routine maintenance to maintain the flow of water

The Environment Agency has the power to regulate the main river network and the Sow and Penk internal drainage board is responsible for the regulation of ordinary watercourses within their operational area, which is located in a small catchment in and around Stafford.

When an issue is brought to our attention, we will take a risk based approach when determining whether we should carry out works. There are many factors that may influence our decision, but key issues include:

  • the potential for internal flooding of residential or commercial buildings
     
  • the potential for flooding of important infrastructure
     
  • the potential for adverse environmental effects

We will try to resolve the majority of issues through cooperation with riparian landowners, thus avoiding the need for us to use our formal enforcement powers.

We, as the highway authority, can carry out works in relation to flooding and drainage affecting the public highway. There are also common law responsibilities for land owners to maintain roadside ditches and watercourses.

There are no results that match your search criteria


Latest environment news

Climate change funding still available

Community groups, parish councils and schools with projects that help tackle climate change are being reminded that there is still time to apply for funding.
Date:
14 January 2021

Preparation starts for small-scale grazing project

Work to introduce a cattle-grazing conservation project on part of Cannock Chase is beginning this month.
Date:
14 January 2021

Brighter future for community project thanks to county council funding

Trustees and volunteers at Sandfields Pumping Station are celebrating after receiving funding towards the refurbishment of their community venue.
Date:
12 January 2021

Cannock Chase conservation strategy 'should be considered'

A review of another body's public consultation about conservation plans for Cannock Chase says it is strong enough to proceed. The support clears the way for Staffordshire County Council's cabinet to decide whether to back a 15-year, £7.8m strategy to protect vulnerable wildlife and landscape on Cannock Chase.
Date:
07 January 2021

Visit the Staffordshire Newsroom