The District Council has little responsibility in law, in relation to watercourses. As a rule, the landowner is responsible for watercourses. Please refer to the 'Responsibilites' page for more detailed information in this respect.
Arun District Council will only carry out watercourse maintenance if the watercourse flows directly through or adjacent to District Council owned land. In these cases the District Council is legally defined as the riparian landowner, bringing us the same rights and responsibilities as other landowners.
If you are concerned about a poorly maintained watercourse, you should contact the appropriate person / authority responsible for the watercourse. If that authority or landowner is not willing to co-operate, the issue should then be bought to the attention of the District Council. The Council may be able to contact the relevant landowner / authority to request maintenance. These matters are prioritised in order of flood risk. Your Parish Council may also be able to offer advice.
The District Council has no duty, or funds available to carry out works to watercourses on privately owned land. However, upon a lack of action by a landowner, the District Council may serve a legal notice and carry out the works in default if the watercourse has become blocked, and therefore posing a flood risk or health hazard. These Permissive Powers are contained within the Land Drainage Acts of 1991 and 1994. The costs involved in carrying out any such works, plus the administration costs associated with serving Notice, would be reclaimed from landowners.