What is an Environment Agency Flood Risk Activity Permit (EA FRAP)? and why do I need one?

What is an Environment Agency Flood Risk Activity Permit, (EA FRAP) and why do you need one?

In a nutshell, if you’re a riparian landowner (own a property adjacent to a watercourse) and the work you are planning to take place is within 8m of a watercourse, then typically you will need to apply for a permit. If the work you plan to undertake ticks one of the points below, then you’ll require an EA FRAP.

As a riparian landowner you have certain rights and requirements under UK law. There is a useful guide to refer to that the Environment Agency produces, which can be downloaded here.

It is important to note that one would be breaking the law if work is carried out without the correct permit in place. There are two types of permits to consider:

  1. Standard Rules Permit – This includes a set of fixed rules for common activities.
  2. Bespoke Permit – This covers all other flood risk activities which are not already covered by a standard rules permit. It is a project specific permit, providing in depth detail of the risks and planned activities.

The Environment Agency FRAP is only applicable if you live in England. Should you live elsewhere within the United Kingdom then you may need to contact the following:

Scotland – Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). SEPA is Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, protecting and improving Scotland’s environment.

Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is an Executive Agency within the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Wales – Natural Resources Wales (NRW) are a consultation body under many environmental assessment regulations.

Cooks Marine Services specialise in all types of civil engineering work for inland waterways and inland marine environments.

If your project will involve any construction work near an inland watercourse and our services can be utilised, we can manage the entire EA FRAP process on behalf of our clients. 

The application for a permit is usually a four step process.

  1. Develop a management system to describe the method of work and what will be done to manage risk. This allowed for any possible environmental mitigation measures that need to be put in place.
  2. Gather supporting information which provides the Environment Agency with a sufficient level of detail on the proposed work activities, such as site surveys, if required. This may include:
    1. Production of photographic surveys.
    2. Undertaking ground investigation work.
    3. Undertaking a detailed on site survey to supply dimensions of the proposed design.
    4. Producing site plans, elevation and cross sectional drawings and such like.
  3. Complete the required forms in sufficient level of detail to allow the commencement of the review process and make a submission to the correct Environment Agency permitting team responsible for your catchment. The forms in this case will be:
    1. The Part A form, which provides details of the contractor undertaking the work, in this case Cooks Marine Services.
    2. The B10 form, this provides the Environment Agency detail about the proposed project.
    3. The F3 form, this provides details of the activities that are planned so the regulator can ensure the correct charges are being applied to pay for the permit. Charges do vary considerably and are not always calculated in a straight forward manner. The charges table can be found here:

The permit forms referenced above can be found here

  1. Pay the required fee for EA to review your application.

Works that will require a permit (unless exempt) are works;

  • Erecting any temporary or permanent structure in, over or under a main river, such as a culvert, outfall, weir, dam, pipe crossing, erosion protection, scaffolding or bridge.
  • Altering, repairing or maintaining any temporary or permanent structure in, over or under a main river, where the work could affect the flow of water in the river or affect any drainage work.
  • Building or altering any permanent or temporary structure designed to contain or divert flood waters from a main river.
  • Dredging, raising or removing any material from a main river, including project specific which are intending to improve flow in the river or use the materials removed.
  • Diverting or impounding the flow of water or changing the level of water in a main river.
  • Quarrying or excavation within 16 metres of any main river, flood defence (including a remote defence) or culvert.
  • Any activity within 8 metres of the bank of a main river, or 16 metres if it is a tidal main river.
  • Any activity within 8 metres of any flood defence structure or culvert on a main river, or 16 metres on a tidal river.
  • Any activity within 16 metres of a sea defence structure.
  • Activities carried out on the floodplain of a main river, more than 8 metres from the river bank, culvert or flood defence structure (or 16 metres if it is a tidal main river) if you do not have planning permission. Please note, you do not need permission to build agricultural hay stacks, straw stacks or manure clamps in these places.

An Environment Agency Floor Risk Activity Permit is separate to and in addition to any possible planning permission that may be required. Environmental permits should be applied for by an environmental advisor or competent person. Cooks Marine Services will act on behalf of clients in order to obtain the EA FRAP and represent them. Please note, we do not undertake planning applications, however we have worked with many architects and engineers on previous projects to help overcome any challenges faced from conservation and planning officers.

Once the permit is in place and it needs amending the applicant must demonstrate that a sufficient  risk assessment has been undertaken and that the changes will not adversely effect :

  • Flood risk
  • Impact on drainage
  • Effect of the environment

If your project is on an inland waterway and you require assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our contact form is found here.

If you would like further information or a chance to talk to someone, please get in touch.

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