Flood Risk Activity Exemptions

Do you need a flood risk activity exemption?

If you want to carry out certain types of works in, over, under or near a main river, or flood defence (including a sea defence), or within a flood plain you may be eligible to register for a flood risk activity exemption depending upon the type of activity you wish to carry out rather than be required to apply for a permit. 

In order to register an exempt flood risk activity you must read and understand the appropriate guidance below. 

Flood Risk Activity Exemptions

You can register an exemption for the following activities free of charge. The guidance document at the bottom of the page provides additional information and conditions that must be met in order to register for an exemption. Failure to meet these requirements could lead to enforcement action as it is a criminal offence to carry out an exempt activity without meeting the appropriate conditions. 

Before registering for any exemption if you think you will need to undertake temporary works (for example use scaffolding or coffer dams in the channel), you should contact your local NRW office to discuss if a bespoke permit might be needed. 

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 2 - The erection of an electrical cable service crossing over a main river

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 3 - The erection of a service crossing below the bed of a main river by directional drilling not involving an open cut technique

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 4 - Service crossings attached to the outside of existing structures over a main river

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 5 – The construction of footbridges

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 8 - The maintenance of raised river or sea defences

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 9 - The maintenance of structures within the channel of a main river other than raised river or sea defences

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 10 - The construction of a drinking bay on the bank of a main river

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 11 - The construction of access platforms on the bank of a main river or that project into or over a main river

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 12 – The construction of small outfall pipes and headwalls to main rivers

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 13 - The repair and protection of main river banks using natural materials

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 14 - Repair of bank slips and erosion

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 15 - The installation of channel habitat structures made of natural materials (excluding weirs and berms)

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 16 - The installation of rafts for survey

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 17 - Gravel cleaning for fish-spawning beds

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 19 - Construction of eel pass devices on existing structures

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 20 - Construction of fish passage notches on an existing impoundment

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 25 - The excavation of scrapes and shallow wetland features in a floodplain

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 27 - Construction of bankside wildlife refuge structures

Flood Risk Activity Exemption 28 - Improvement works for tracks and paths 

If your proposed activity meets all of the relevant conditions, you may register your exemption with us. 

Details required

You will need the following details to register:

  • The applicant’s name and address (the applicant is the individual or organisation responsible for carrying out the flood risk activity)
  • The 12-digit national grid reference of the location(s) where the exemption(s) are to be carried out
  • Location plan of where the activity(s) will be carried out

How to register your flood risk activity exemption

You can apply using the electronic form at the bottom of the page. This form can be posted or emailed directly to us. The relevant addresses are on the form.

Once registered your exemption details will appear on the flood risk activity exemption public register.

Related document downloads

Application form - Registering an exemption Form FRAX01 WORD [127.4 KB]