The Board’s Byelaws are available via the links below:

Under the Land Drainage Act 1991 Drainage Boards have a duty to exercise a general supervision over all matters relating to the drainage of land within its district. Also contained within this Act are the various permissive legal powers (i.e they are not a requirement on the Board) that permit a Board to undertake the operation, maintenance and improvement of any watercourse within its area. (Main Rivers are excluded from this power).

To assist a Drainage Board in undertaking these roles, Section 66 of the Land Drainage Act 1991 allows a Board to create Byelaws that control all activities within 9 metres of all watercourses. All byelaws must be approved by the relevant Minister. Any breach of a byelaw is a criminal offence and, where a contravention occurs, the Boards can take necessary action to remedy the breach and recover their reasonable expenses.

In exceptional circumstances the Boards may consider certain works or structures to be erected or undertaken within the Byelaw zone but the formal consenting process must be followed. The relevant Board must receive details of any proposed works affecting watercourses, and grant permission for the work to proceed, requesting any modifications, which may be necessary. Consequently, riparian owners and developers must obtain a Land Drainage Consent from the Board before the work commences (where the watercourse is a Main River, consent from the Environment Agency, rather than the Board, is required). Please see our Consents page here to find out more information.