The environment agency is looking to abolish internal drainage boards (IDBs) in eight areas of West Sussex and Kent.
Where an IDB is not replaced, the responsibility for maintenance will fall on the owners of land near the water course (riparian owners). So whilst any levy previously imposed by the IDB will be removed, these landowners are likely to see their costs increase. If you are affected, we suggest representations are made to the EA to put the watercourse into repair before any responsibility is transferred.
If a landowner is not a riparian owner (please get in touch if you need advice on this), they may benefit from the abolition of any levy and are unlikely to acquire any new maintenance obligations.
The Environment Agency expects all existing internal drainage districts to be abolished and alternative arrangements to be in place by summer 2016. Between the proposal being submitted and the potential dissolution, the Environment Agency will work with all parties to help them understand and meet their responsibilities when the current internal drainage districts are abolished. These parties include riparian owners (waterside landowners), prospective members of new internal drainage boards where these will be established, and local councils. In the meantime, our inspectors will assess the condition of the watercourses and equipment. This will help us ensure they are in a reasonable condition if and when the existing internal drainage districts are abolished.