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Leaky dam at Swarthghyll Natural Flood Management

Consent and approval

Some intervention treatments may require consent prior to construction.

Land drainage consent

On ordinary watercourses – works in the water course may require land drainage consent from the Lead Local Flood Authority (North Yorkshire County Council or Cumbria County Council). For guidance and application forms see: or

On main rivers – consent will be required from the Environment Agency (EA) for any works within 5m of the watercourse.

Planning consent

This may be required for larger structures, and a discussion about proposed works should be held with the local planning authority (Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority). Standard construction dimensions are recommended for each intervention treatment to enable quicker approval.

New woodlands

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) may be required if more than 2ha of woodland planting is grant funded from sources other than the national agri-environment schemes. The Forestry Commission would need to undertake this assessment. If it is funded by the national agri-environment schemes, an EIA would not be required.

Specialised consent

In some cases, a higher level of consent would be required before any intervention treatment can be put in place – for example, where Scheduled Monuments, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Public Rights of Way are involved.

Public Rights of Way

Public footpaths, public bridleways and byways within the National Park are all managed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, which acts as the highway authority. Consent must be obtained before any work takes place that might affect either the physical right of way or those using it. Be aware that the actual ‘used’ route that the public walk or ride across your land could differ from the legal definitive line.  

Open Access land  

Almost all moorland and much of the higher rough pasture land within the National Park is designated as Open Access land. The public have a legal right of access on this land and, before any works take place that might affect this access, consent may be required.  

FeatureConsent required
Scheduled Monument Historic England 01793 414883
Site of Special Scientific Interest
(SSSI), Special Area of
Conservation (SAC) or
Special Protection Area (SPA)
Natural England 0300 060 3900
Public Rights of Way and
Open Access land
Yorkshire Dales
National Park
01756 751647
(Alan Hulme)