Works Licences

Undertaking work within or beside the navigation area, with the potential to interfere with navigation, requires a Works Licence.

This forms part of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988.

To obtain a works licence an application must be made. Approved applications will be granted a Works Licence typically valid for 12 months from date of issue.

Please allow at least one month from receipt of application to the issuing of a licence. However, if a notice to mariners is required, which needs to be advertised for 30 days before work starts, this may impact on the earliest commencement date possible.

Guidance Documents

The following document provides useful guidance for anyone intending to undertake work within the Broads river system. It gives guidance on legislation requirements, identifies less obvious health and safety hazards and highlights other possible considerations.

Application Form

A Works Licence Application Form can be downloaded here.

Along with the application form the following supporting information must be provided to enable the proposal to be understood and assessed:

1. Location plan
2. Design details (relevant sections and plans describing the works)
3. Contractor details
4. Proposed plant and equipment
5. Method statement
6. Project timetable

For advice on Works Licences contact the Broads Authority Project Support Officer, Adrian Sewell, on 01603 756066.


Works licence applications are categorised as 'major' or 'minor' and the following fees apply:

Major Works Application =  £80.00
Minor Works Application =  £50.00
Retrospective Major Works Application =  £155.00
Retrospective Minor Works Application =  £125.00

The type of application and required fee is to be defined as below:

a) Major Works Application

An application is considered to be a 'Major Application' if any of the following applies during or as a result of the proposed works:

(i) Obstruction to more than 50% of the width of the navigable channel
(ii) less than an 8 metre navigable width remains over a stretch of river greater than 5 metres in length
(iii) the works are within 50 metres of any works of any other statutory undertaker
(iv) the works are within 15 metres of any works of the British Railways Board
(v) a complete river closure is required

b) Minor Works Application

A Minor Application is required for any works on or adjacent to the navigation not classified as a Major Application.

c) Retrospective Works Applications

A retrospective application is required for any works on or adjacent to the navigation which have commenced or been completed without a valid Works Licence. The major or minor categorisation, as defined above, also applies to retrospective applications.

Further Requirements

Depending on the scale, nature and potential impacts of a project, other permissions/actions may be required in addition to obtaining a Works Licence. Below is a list of some additional requirements which you may need to consider.

This is not an exhaustive list, but does identify the more common requirements and consents.