Skip to main content

The charity making life better by water

Feasibility assessment & criteria

For most schemes you will need to employ technical experts to help you assess the site conditions, develop an appropriate design, obtain planning consent and meet construction standards. We do not assess the financial viability of your scheme.

Planning designations and site constraints

Contact the Local Planning Authority (normally the local council) to see if your proposal requires planning consent. Walk over the site to survey its main physical attributes and physical constraints.

Road access

Depending on the scale of the proposed development the highways authority may be concerned about the impact of your customers' cars on local roads.


The cost of connecting to local services is likely to be a major cost and also diverting any services that may cross the site. You may also need to upgrade the capacity of existing services on site. You will therefore need to contact the local utility offices or arrange for a specialist surveyor to identify the necessary connections, diversions and costs.


Under the Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2007 specific legal duties are placed on Clients of construction projects. Please contact the Health and Safety Executive for further information:

Phone: 0845 345 0055 Website:


Where a development involves land purchase enquiries should be made from the local authority and utility companies for any information relating to the site. If purchasing the land your legal representative will advise commissioning a check using an environmental data search service. The information provided should include details of:

  • Statutory wildlife designations
  • Flood maps
  • Outline geological information
  • Presence of contaminated land or materials in or near the site
  • Pollution incidents
  • Activities licensed by the Environment Agency in the area

Ground Conditions

Where your proposal includes excavation, it is advisable to assess the site conditions. It is also advisable at this stage to identify whether or not the site has utility equipment or private services crossing it which will impact upon construction and use. Further information can be found in the Detailed Information section.

Water levels and flood risk

Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) have to consult with the Environment Agency on most development proposals at risk from flooding.

The EA provides technical advice to LPAs and developers on how best to avoid, manage and reduce the adverse impacts of flooding.

You should also discuss any flooding issues with Canal & River Trust as there may be impacts on canal infrastructure. Discharges of surface water from rainfall events to canal are generally not encouraged by Canal & River Trust. This is because these flows occur when the canal system is already dealing with high flows. However, if you wish to make a proposal to discharge surface water from your site, either into the waterway, it will require our consent, please refer to the links below.

Please note that if you are proposing to include a dry dock, any transfer of water from the dry dock to other inland waters would be classed as an abstraction and would require a licence under the Water Act.

Archaeology and historic structures

An initial assessment of the archaeology and historic structures of the site is important. Further information can be found in the detailed Information section.

Wildlife and the natural environment

An initial assessment of the environmental issues is important. Further information can be found in the detailed Information section.

Last Edited: 01 August 2023

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration