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The charity making life better by water

How we assess your proposal

Please note the works proposal process is for business boating customers only (customers who lease lease property from us or operate/propose to operate a boating business).

Please note we have a separate process for neighbours and developers who wish to work on, near or over our property.

Where business boating proposals require works affecting Trust property, you will require our approval (and a formal agreement if required) prior to commencing works on site. Before granting approval, we need to be sure that the methodology and technical submission are adequate to protect the integrity of the waterway and the safety of our customers.

Please note that the process may be different for developers who are, or are proposing to be, tenants of the Trust. Details of the requirements are likely to be set down in the terms of the lease. This can be discussed further once you have made your initial application.

Please be advised there are two parts to our works proposal process. Each part requires a six-week internal consultation. Please ensure this is considered as part of your own timeframes.

Prior to starting any works on site, you must:

  • Have already submitted an Operating Proposal and received our ‘in principal approval' and confirmation to proceed to submitting a Works Proposal (for tenants of the Trust please liaise with the Business Boating Estate Surveyor for advice on terms of the lease and which proposal applies to you). Contact details can be found on the Business Boating team contacts page
  • You will be asked to complete and submit a Works Proposal Part 1 (Outline Stage) and return it to us with your fee of £480 (£400 + vat)
  • Design your scheme to meet the requirements set out in this website and in any other written reports issued during this process
  • Obtain planning consent (if required)
  • Complete and submit your Works Proposal Part 2 (Detailed Submission)
  • Complete all necessary agreement(s)

Process overview

Please be advised the Outline stage is for us to assess your proposals and undertake an internal consultation with various disciplines within the Trust.

Once we have appraised your works proposal we will require Part 2 – Detailed submission (detail stage). This will include further details such as detailed drawings, risk assessments, method statements and contractor’s insurance etc. This information will be required before we are able to issue written permission to undertake works on our property.

Please provide a minimum of 12 weeks within your proposed timescales for the Trust to review both submissions.

What we will do on receipt of your Works proposal - Part 1 (outline stage).

We will log your works proposal and carry out an assessment of the potential impact on the local waterway.

Within 6 weeks of receiving your works proposal we will tell you in writing whether:

(a) you should proceed with a detailed submission (and obtaining planning permission, if required), or

(b) the proposal is not acceptable, giving our reasons.

Works proposal - Part 2 (detailed submission)

Once you have received planning permission (where required) and your final scheme is ready you should send us your completed detailed submission. We strongly advise you to liaise with us as you develop your submission so that we can assess solutions, resolve queries etc.

Before you start the preparation of your Works Proposal Part 2 (detailed submission) you should:

  • refer to our report on your Works Proposal and ensure that you have adequately addressed all the issues raised in this report, including all relevant construction phase information (risk assessments and method statements)

What we will do on receipt of your Works Proposal - Part 2 (detailed submission)

When we receive your detailed submission, we will carry out a full appraisal and will report in writing to you within eight weeks.

We will tell you that either:

(a) further work/information is required, or

(b) you have satisfied our requirements

We will also contact you to progress any agreements required. Any planning conditions must have been discharged at this stage.

Prior to any works affecting Trust property taking place, the applicant/ contractor will be issued with a Authorisation for Access Form. A copy of the form must be maintained on site to demonstrate to other agents of the Trust that permission is in place.

Once construction commences you are required to complete the works in accordance with the approved detailed submission. Any changes to your methods of working or programme of works must be agreed by us.

Terms & Conditions relevant to the works proposal

  • We handle applications on a first come first served basis.
  • We will appraise each application in isolation of all others. No information given to the Canal & River Trust will be passed to any potential competitor except to the extent that it is already in the public domain.
  • Subject to any overriding provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or other legislation we will treat your application to us in confidence. We may on occasion seek your permission to discuss your proposal with the relevant Local Waterway Partnership.We would expect it to enter the public domain when you submit a planning application (if this is required). At this stage we may receive the views of interested parties and will consider them appropriately. Please also be aware that there may be others making applications in confidence to us in the same area.
  • We will not be concerned with the viability of the proposal or whether there will be sufficient customer demand to support your business - it is your responsibility to make your own assessments on these issues.
  • From the start of your application to us we will assign to you a Business Boating Manager or Business Boating Surveyor to coordinate the team dealing with your scheme. A Works Engineer will assist the Business Boating Manager/Surveyor as required.
  • We may refuse your application if at any stage it transpires that your scheme will not meet the requirements we have explained to you, or if you materially alter details of the scheme without discussing them with us, or if you do not pay the required fee.
  • If we have to terminate the application process or refuse your application, we will give a clear explanation of our reasons.
  • In the event of refusal or termination of your application the fee you have paid to us is not refundable.
  • We will not be held responsible or liable for any costs or expenses that you may have incurred or that arise from the termination or refusal.

Where required each party is responsible for paying its own legal fees in respect of the works.

Surface water discharge and water quality – where a new discharge is proposed it will be reviewed using a risk based approach to determine whether the benefits to the Trust outweigh the risks of acceptance. Any new discharge will require approval by the water management, environment and utilities teams.

If you intend to discharge water from your site other than by way of natural runoff either into a proposed basin or into the waterway then you will also need to enter into a surface water discharge licence with us. This is a standard document to ensure that issues of water quantity and quality as well as any construction issues are properly addressed.

We will only accept clean surface water. We will not accept foul, polluted or contaminated water. Payment is likely to be required in respect of discharges.

Development Agreement followed by a lease/licence

If you are developing a scheme on our land, we will grant a development agreement which may be followed by a lease or a licence as appropriate.

Agreements will be for a term of years sufficient to reflect the level of investment made and may contain restrictions to agreed uses. The rent is usually negotiable and subject to periodic review. Operators will usually be responsible for repairs and insurance.

Other legal agreements may apply (to be determined on a case by case basis).

Contact details can be found on the Business Boating team contacts page or email us here.

When assessing the impact of the proposed works on navigational safety, we consider the following:

1. Any structure including moorings or moored craft, should not impede the Dredge Trigger Profile. Click here to show a diagram of Dredge Trigger Profile (Minimum Operating Channel).

2. The canal edge/washwall should be in good condition.

3. There should be safe pedestrian access to your mooring or mooring platform (if relevant).

4. Permanent structures or moored boats will not normally be permitted (under normal circumstances) within the vicinity of a bridge, lock, weir or other asset or control structure (typically 40m).

5. There should be sufficient depth of water to accommodate your boat with a minimum depth of water (typically 500mm) below the deepest drafted vessel you wish to accommodate.

6. The line of sight for those travelling along the main line of the canal should not be obscured by your proposed works (typically 40m).

7. Any proposed works should not undermine the integrity of the canal, including canal bed, washwalls or surrounding ground (embankment, cutting) or supporting infrastructure (retaining walls) or services, culverts within the vicinity of the works.

Environmental & Heritage Impacts

In order to safeguard the environment, we will complete an environmental appraisal of your proposal to highlight any known environmental and heritage issues associated with your proposal. The information contained in our response to your application is intended to highlight issues that may be of concern to us, local planning authorities and/or other regulatory bodies. It will be necessary for you to address any issues raised before permission is granted.

Water resource impacts (if applicable)

Where your proposal is likely to impact upon water resources or hydraulic conveyance it will be necessary for the Trust to complete a water resource study to determine whether or not there is sufficient water resource available to support your application. Where water resource sensitivities exist it might be necessary to undertake a more comprehensive Stage 2 Water Resource Study (see note 1 below).

Note 1: Where a Stage 2 Water Resource Study is required, a contribution towards the cost of the study (£2,250 plus VAT) will be paid by an individual applicant OR shared by multiple applicants where appropriate.

Surface water discharge and water quality

Where a new discharge is proposed it will be reviewed using a risk based approach to determine whether the benefits to the Trust outweigh the risks of acceptance. Any new discharge will require approval by the water management, environment and utilities teams.

Last Edited: 30 April 2024

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