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Retention of Existing Works

Where existing works in the river are sold for example, in conjunction with the sale of a riverside property, the new owner must apply for a River Works Licence to retain the works. A Notification of Transfer Form (WordPDF) should also be completed and submitted within seven days of the date of transfer, as and when the works are sold.

The PLA aims to process applications within three months of receiving a valid application. An application will only be valid upon receipt of all of the required documentation.


The following should be provided with any application to retain existing works:

  • Application form (Word, PDF)
  • Notification of Transfer Form (WordPDF)
  • Location of works marked on a PLA chart extract
  • Land Registry details
  • Written confirmation of an agreed licence transfer date between the buyer and seller
  • Written confirmation from the applicant that a visual inspection has been undertaken of the works and that the description of the works in the licence continues to be accurate. Any alterations that have been made to the works by a previous licensee must be highlighted to the PLA and scaled drawings provided
  • Application fee

On receipt of the application, the PLA will review the extant licence and deposited drawings. As the PLA has licensed works in the river for over 100 years, should the drawings not be of sufficient quality for modern day purposes then the applicant will be required to provide scaled drawings of the works.

Related: Frequently asked questions about the licensing process