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Maintenance of the land drainage networks

There are a number of pieces of legislation designed to ensure that the land drainage network operates satisfactorily.

  1. If a riparian owner fails to carry out his/her responsibilities under the Land Drainage Act, or if anyone else causes a watercourse to become blocked or obstructed, the County and District Councils have powers of enforcement by serving a notice under section 28 of the Act.  If this is ignored, the Council concerned may carry out the necessary work itself and then recharge the person responsible for the full cost incurred.  The District Council normally implements these powers, but the County Council will deal with problems that affect the highway.  The person responsible may also be prosecuted for nuisance under the Public Health Act 1936.
  2. Anyone wishing to carry out work in, over or adjacent to an ordinary watercourse must apply for consent from the Maldon District Council and/or the Environment Agency, so that the proposals can be assessed for their effect on the drainage network and the environment.  Please contact our planning department and the Environment Agency for advice on your particular development.