Changes to Flood Defence Permits imminent

From the 6th April 2016, pending Parliamentary approval, Food Defence Consents will be replaced by Permits for Flood Risk Activities and integrated into the Environmental Permitting framework.

A number of changes are proposed that will impact on the permitting process including replacing the need for multiple permits with a single permit, allowing permits to be transferred from one person to another, flexibility on timing plus increased powers for the EA/NRW to revoke or attach conditions to the permit and to issue enforcement, suspension or remediation notices.

More details about the proposed changes from the current system are presented in an Environment Agency consultation document – Consultation on integrating flood defence consents into the Environmental Permitting regime in England and Wales – and the Environment Agency map at Flood risk activity permits: Water Framework Directive sensitive rivers - Publications - GOV.UK shows where potential applications may impact on historic and planned Water Framework Directive sensitive areas.

The Environment Agency will use this map to inform Flood Risk Activity Permit applications or registrations for exemptions from permits. It may affect the type of permit you can apply for.

Associated fees will also be increasing, although the final fee structure is still subject to approval.

The changes will particularly affect developers with schemes on or near main rivers or sea defences and should, in principle, simplify the permit application process.

If you would like more information about how these changes will impact on your development, or guidance about what you should do, please contact Seymour D’Oyley in our Hydrology & Flood Risk Team on 0117 929 2244 or email SeymourD'Oyley@clarkebond.com.