Consents & Byelaws.


The MLC is a statutory corporation and IDB, providing flood defence and water level management within the Middle Level district. The MLC ensures that all surplus rain water or other water such as treated effluent (which is not required to support conservation, navigation or agriculture) is pumped out via a network of pumping stations into the River Great Ouse and then to the sea.  IDBs are responsible for the more local water level management in their respective district. Many of the IDBs are administered from the Middle Level Offices and their administration, engineering and financial work is carried out by Middle Level staff.

What this means to you

Any rainwater (also known as surface water or run-off) that currently falls onto your land / garden will in part ‘soak away’ into the ground with the remainder slowly making its way into the local drainage system. When land is developed, for example by constructing an extension or a new housing development, the area of land that has been developed becomes ‘impermeable’ because the rain can no longer soak into the ground. The surface water is collected from roofs via gutters and drainpipes, and can end up in the drainage system very quickly. The local district drains may not be able to deal with this additional flow, and flooding may occur at the site, or further downstream / upstream.

Any new or increased foul water produced by your development must also be taken into account. Many homes in this area discharge their foul water into an Anglian Water Sewer. This waste water is sent to a waste water treatment works, where it is cleaned and then (in most areas) released into the Districts drains. If you are adding a new bedroom to your property, it is considered that the occupancy is increasing, and you will therefore be increasing the amount of foul water discharged.

It is your duty to show us that your development has considered flood risk, both to your site, and nearby properties.  If you can prove that your development will not cause any extra water to enter the Districts drains, there is no charge to you. Any increase in surface water or treated foul water/effluent must be slowed as much as possible before discharging into the Districts drains, and there will be a one-off charge due to be paid depending on the amount and speed of water released. This charge is needed to help the Boards maintain and improve their system to ensure that new development does not increase flood risk to existing land or property. You must complete the relevant forms and return them to us, with any required fees, to tell us how you are dealing with the water being generated by your development.

If any work is to be carried out in or around a watercourse, then consent needs to be given by the relevant Board before the works are carried out. Please click on the ‘Consent for Works in and around Watercourses’ button on the right and complete the ‘Byelaw Consent’ form. Generally, consent is needed to carry out works within any watercourse, and in the maintenance strip of any protected watercourse.

Please click on the relevant button on the right for more information and application forms.

Please see the flow charts below for a simplified version of the Consents and procedures needed. More detailed information can be found by clicking the relevant buttons on the right. Please do contact us if you still need help, or if your circumstances are not shown here.