If you wish to place or construct anything, such as a dam, weir, headwall or culvert, which may affect the flow in a watercourse, you must obtain the written consent of the Environment Agency.
In addition, should you wish to pipe, bridge or cover an ordinary watercourse, you must submit details of your proposals and obtain consent in writing from the Environment Agency. These consents are in addition to any planning or building regulation approvals you may need.
The current policy of the Environment Agency is to resist the piping of ditches in order to retain wildlife habitats. The consideration of an application will also take into account the fact that, while a pipe may allow the flow of water, it is not able to provide the storage capacity of an open ditch in times of heavy rain and may be more difficult to maintain.