Dykes & Drainage

Dykes - Drains - Ditches all terms referring to artificial or minor watercourses. In the South Holland district, the majority of these were artificially created for land reclamation purposes a long time ago.

Introduction

Dykes, Drains, Ditches are all terms referring to artificial or minor watercourses. In the South Holland district, the majority of these were artificially created for land reclamation purposes a long time ago.

 

Q. I have a dyke by my property, who owns it?

A. There are numerous possibilities as to the ownership of a specific dyke. On the whole they are generally not conveyed in house deeds, so it may be a surprise to find that you may in fact be partly responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of this watercourse. There are four ways that dyke ownership may go:

1. The dyke may belong to the local internal drainage board. If the dyke is relatively large and is well kept, this may well be the case; however, if you are unsure, consult them.

2. The dyke may belong to your neighbour, ask them to check their deeds.

3. The dyke may belong to you, check your deeds.

4. If the answer is NO to 1 - 3 the dyke may be the joint responsibility between yourself and your neighbour; If the dyke has not been identified as belonging to any party, but is on your boundary, the common law approach is a riparian ownership.

Q. What is a riparian ownership?

A. Riparian means 'of or on riverbank'. In reference to ownership issues, any property boundary, which ends at a dyke and the ownership of the watercourse is undefined. Then the land owner either side will be deemed as a joint or riparian owner. Even if you have a boundary fence or hedge between you and the dyke, you will be seen as having a joint responsibility under common law.

Q. I want to fill a dyke. How do I go about filling this?

A. First of all, DO NOT just go ahead and fill the dyke. This is not only an issue which may cause severe drainage problems, even flooding; but is illegal under both the Public Health Act 1936 and the Land Drainage Act 1991.

You must contact South Holland District Council and the relevant Authorities. For details of other agencies please read the following attachment (Other Agencies)

If you wish to fill a dyke, please have a look at the following attachment. (Dyke Filling Guidance)

If you still want to proceed with an application: Either contact South Holland District Council to speak to an officer, who will help you; or download and fill in the following attachment fully (Application to culvert), carefully reading the instructions.

Q. I am only creating an access to the road, do I need to fill in an application form on such a small section?

A. Yes, under the Public Health Act 1936, this is still an alteration being made to a watercourse and may affect the flow of the dyke.

 

If you would like to apply please fill out this application form and send it to propertyservices@sholland.gov.uk.

Icon for word Application to culvert [140KB]

For guidance on filling dykes

Icon for word Dyke Filling Guidance [578.5KB]