The EA has opened a new consultation on significant increases and other changes to their charging schemes for the April 2018-2023 period, which will set rates for the cost of:

  • Permits
  • Subsistence charges for regulation
  • Advice during application and advice.

This is a move towards full cost recovery for the EA’s work. it could impact on the amount of funding needed to carry out natural flood management, habitat rehabilitation and farm infrastructure projects on main rivers.

For illustration:

  • Discharge permits – application charges are expected to rise depending on the type of application.  For example, permit variations for intermittent discharges are proposed to rise from zero to £6,699 each – although an interim charge of £903 per application is proposed.  From April, all permit changes will incur a fee and subsistence charges to the business are due to increase by 35%. (Implications for water company/fisheries)
  • Main River Flood Risk Activity Permits – currently £170 per application. Standard rules permits will rise to £221, but other activities will increase in different bands.  For example, permits for installation of outfalls will cost £446, construction of eel passes or footbridges will be £764, installation of flow deflectors will be £968, new culverts will be £1,209 or new flow regulation structures will be £1,441. Subsistence charges will also vary from £68 to £610. (Implications for farmers and all projects)
  • Land spreading – Standard Rules SR2010 No.4 – permit application cost to rise to £2,641 (from £720) (Implications for farmers/water company)
  • Discretionary services – EPR permitting: discretionary pre-application advice service (all regimes) – new charge (£100/hour),  Definition of waste services – new charge (£750 per request/hourly rate of £125),  Planning advice – increased charge (from £84/hour to £100/hour),  advice for Marine Licensing – new charge (£100/hour) (implications for local authorities)

The consultation opened on the 30th November and runs until the 12th January.

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