Land Drainage Act

Applies to EnglandApplies to Wales

Title: Land Drainage Act

Category: England and Wales Law

Date: 1991 and 1994

Reference: 1991 (Chapter 59) [Full text] and 1994 (Chapter 25) [Full text]

General Description:

The Land Drainage Act 1991 requires that a watercourse be maintained by its owner in such a condition that the free flow of water is not impeded. The riparian owner must accept the natural flow from upstream but need not carry out work to cater for increased flows resulting from some types of works carried out upstream, for example a new housing development.

If a riparian owner fails to carry out his 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 the Act. If this is ignored, the Council concerned may carry out the necessary 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.

The 1994 Act amends the Land Drainage Act of 1991 in relation to the functions of internal drainage boards and local authorities.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Watercourses, Water, Drainage

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