Pre-application advice service for water abstraction and impoundment licences

We provide a one to one advice service to assist with the application process and help you understand legal requirements when undertaking certain activities.

We offer free advice on:

  • water availability
  • hands off flow requirements
  • confirmation of type of licence required
  • fish/eel screen sizes required
  • confirmation of fish/eel passage requirements (including specifying type but not including review of designs)

Any subsequent advice is charged at a rate of £125 plus VAT, per hour. 

The service is not mandatory and other sources of advice including private, public or academic sector consultancies are available.

How to access the service

To request our pre-application service, please complete the online water resources pre-application request form.

Once you have submitted the advice request form, you will be assigned a contact to discuss your proposed activity. 

What you can expect from the pre-application advice service

We can provide advice on your specific activity and site, to help you:

  • understand if you need any permissions (permits, licences, authorisations etc) from us, for your activity
  • prepare a quality application or submission for the permissions needed

We will not provide any advice or service that might ‘pre-determine’ or prejudice the determination of an application before it is submitted. This means we cannot:

  • prepare reports for applicants, or
  • carry out pre-assessments of information that should form part of the formal application

This must be done as part of the technical determination of the application. We can only determine an application once we are content that all the necessary information has been submitted, and we formally accept the application.

Do you have to follow the advice provided?

Our pre-application advice service is there to provide advice only.

Submitting an application based on our advice is not a guarantee that a permit, licence, or authorisation will be granted.

We cannot be held responsible for decisions made by other bodies who will have other factors to consider alongside our advice.

Find out if you need a water abstraction licence

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