Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Our Internal Drainage Boards Do?
The Boards have powers to adopt watercourses within their District for regular maintenance. They do not maintain every individual drain. They also have the power to construct new or improve existing works. The Boards liaise with English Nature, other conservation bodies and other advisers, in order that all works are completed in an environmentally sensitive manner.In addition to the Land Drainage Act, Boards have powers to make Byelaws to assist in controlling activities adjacent to watercourses. These Byelaws are approved by the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
IDBs consult with the Planning Authorities on Drainage Matters and comments are returned incorporating Engineering Advice where necessary. Boards carry out maintainance and improvement works. These include operating pumping stations; flail mowing, removing silt and obstructions, piling slipping banks, and maintaining grids, culverts and other flood defence structures. This work can either be carried out by the Board's contractors or the Board's own work force.
All properties within a Drainage District are deemed to derive benefit from the activities of an IDB. Every property is therefore subject to a Drainage Rate paid annually to the Board.
For the purposes of rating, properties are divided into a) Agricultural Land and Buildings and b) Other Land (such as domestic houses, factories, shops etc). Occupiers of all “Other Land” pay Council Tax or Non-Domestic Rates to the Local Council who then are charged by the Board. This charge is called the “Special Levy”. The Board, therefore, only demands Drainage Rates direct on Agricultural Land and Buildings.
The basis of this is that on agricultural land and buildings each property has been allotted an “Annual Value”. This Annual value is an amount equal to the yearly rent, or the rent that might be reasonably expected if let on
a tenancy from year to year commencing 1 April 1988.
The Annual Value remains the same from year to year. Each year the Board lays a rate “in the £” to meet its estimated expenditure. This is multiplied by the Annual Value to produce the amount of Drainage Rate due on each Assessment. A breakdown of the rate in the £ is shown on the reverse of the Board's rate Demand Note to show how money is spent.
What to Do When a Property is Sold
When a sale is anticipated, the Vendor should ensure that the drainage rates for the full year are paid. The paid demand note should then be passed to the Solicitor acting on his behalf, who will then apportion the rate paid at the date of Completion, and obtain the balance due to the Vendor from the Purchaser.
If only part of the property is sold, or if the property is sold in Lots, details should be supplied to the Board in advance. The Drainage Rate and Annual Values will then be apportioned. This will allow the Solicitor to apportion the Rates at Completion as above.
In all cases the name(s) and address(es) of new owners must be notified to the Drainage Board or the Board will consider the original occupier liable for the rate.
What to do if there is a Change of Use
When Agricultural Land or Buildings upon which a rate is levied is changed to other uses, the Board should be notified. In some instances this may change the basis on which the drainage rate is charged.
Access Arrangements to Watercourses
Please let us know if you place land adjacent to a Board Maintained watercourse into set-a-side or within a Countryside Stewardship or Entry Level Scheme.
What to Do When you Wish to do any Work In or Adjacent to any Watercourse
When it is proposed to undertake any work in, under, over or adjacent to any ditch or watercourse, the Board should be notified to allow determination of: