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Applying for a River Works Licence

Under Section 66 of the Port of London Act, a River Works Licence is required for any works in the River Thames, riverward of the mean high water mark and regardless of ownership of the river bed, including any works under the river or overhanging the river.   This process ensures that all developments in the river are assessed for their potential effect on safety of navigation and the environment.

To apply for a River Works Licence it is necessary to complete the form 201 entitled ‘Application to place or retain works in the Thames’. This is available to download as a PDF or Microsoft Word document.

Click here for a Microsoft Word version of the Form. This can be saved locally as a Word Document for completion on screen.

Click here for a PDF version of the Form. This can be printed and completed by hand.

The PLA aims to process applications for River Works Licences within three months, however in certain circumstances this may not be possible.

With large projects it is advisable to contact the Licensing Officer (see below for contact details) to arrange a preliminary consultation prior to submitting a formal application. A charge may be applied for pre-application advice.

New Works or Variation to Existing Works

A River Works Licence application for new works or to vary existing works must be accompanied by relevant supporting information including:

  • Method statement
  • Detailed construction drawings
  • Contextual/background information of wider project
  • Environmental and hydrodynamic assessments

Further details are set out in the document entitled ‘Instructions to persons intending to place works in the tidal Thames’, which can be downloaded here (pdf - 40kb).

Demolition Works

Works being demolished in the Thames also require a River Works Licence. The PLA’s requirements for the demolition of piled structures are set out in the document ‘Demolition Guidance Notes’ which can be downloaded here (pdf - 24kb).

Dredging

A Dredging Licence is required for any works involving dredging or bed-levelling. To apply for a Dredging Licence the form ‘Application to undertake dredging in the Thames’ must be completed. This is available to download as a PDF or Microsoft Word document.

Click here for a Microsoft Word version of the Form. This can be saved locally as a Word Document for completion on screen.

Click here for a PDF version of the Form. This can be printed and completed by hand.

For more information please see the relevant web pages by clicking here.

Retention of Existing Works

Where existing works in the river are sold, normally in conjunction with a riverside property, the new owner must apply for a River Works Licence to retain the works by using the form ‘Application to place or retain works in the Thames’. Additional supporting information is not normally required.

Fees

A fee to process applications is payable. The fees are set out in the current PLA Charges booklet.

There is a consideration payable for River Works Licences which in most cases is an annual sum, except in some instances such as embankments where it may be a single payment. For more information regarding the consideration please contact the Valuation Surveyor in the Estates Department.

Consents from other Statutory Bodies

In addition to a River Works Licence, consents by other statutory bodies may be required when placing or carrying out works in the Thames. These consents may include:

  • Environment Agency consent
  • Planning Permission from the relevant local authority
  • A marine licence from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

Please click here to download the document ‘Permissions’ (pdf -24kb) for further information.

Temporary Works

Works of a temporary nature (such as scaffolding to facilitate redecoration and/or repair works to river walls) may require a formal River Works Licence application or the written consent of the PLA. To apply for written consent for temporary works full details of the works must be sent to the Licensing Officer at the address below. The application must include a completed application form, detailed drawings, a comprehensive method statement and the time scale of the works. We are not able to process applications received without this information. Please note that a minimum period of four weeks is necessary to process applications for temporary consent.  In addition to the processing fee, there will be a consideration and surveyor fee.  Please contact our Valuation Surveyor in the Estates Department if you require further information.

Contact Details

If you have a general enquiry about River Works Licensing please contact the Licensing Officer as below or use this Enquiry Form.

Licensing Officer
Port of London Authority
London River House
Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent  DA12 2BG
Tel: +44 (0)1474 562354 or 562588
Fax: +44 (0)1474 562281