Works undertaken without consent
There are no provisions in the legislation that requires you to gain retrospective consent. However, if work has been carried out on an ordinary watercourse without prior consent, the Isle of Wight Council can ask you to obtain consent, or restore the watercourse to its original condition.
Enforcement action (not necessarily criminal sanction) may be taken where damaging or potentially damaging works have been undertaken without consent or are in contravention to an issued consent. The aims of enforcement in flood risk management are to ensure the proper flow of water in a watercourse and over the floodplain; the control of water levels and security of existing assets.
To achieve these aims, enforcement action will be used to rectify unlawful and damaging, or potentially damaging works, always using a risk based approach.
It is the responsibility of the landowner to ensure that watercourses are maintained properly so that they do not pose a threat to flood risk. Failure to do so may result in the Isle of Wight Council arranging clearance and recovering the costs incurred.
It is important to note that failure to obtain Land Drainage consent for a consentable activity prior to carrying out the works may be a criminal offence.
Any person acting in contravention of Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991, may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of up to £5,000, and to a further fine of up to £40 for every day contravention is continued after conviction.
Under section 24 of the Land Drainage Act 1991, the Isle of Wight Council has the power to take any action deemed necessary to remedy the effect of contravention of failure to gain consent, and recover the expense of doing so from the offender.