Pre-application advice service for water abstraction and impoundment licences

You can apply for a one to one advice service to help you find out if you need authorisation and to assist with the application process

Natural Resources Wales provides a one to one advice service to help you understand legal requirements when undertaking certain activities and assist with the application process. 

The first two hours of advice are provided free of charge. Any subsequent advice is charged at a rate of £125 plus VAT, per hour. 

The service is not mandatory and other sources of advice including private, public or academic sector consultancies are available. 

How to access the service

To request our pre-application service, please complete the Water Resources Pre-application Request form

Submit the advice request form to our permit receipt centre. You will be assigned a contact to discuss your proposed activity.

Email the completed form with the subject ‘Request for pre-application advice’ to: Email

Or post to:

Natural Resources Wales
Permit Receipt Centre
Ty Cambria
29 Newport Rd
CF24 0TP

Other areas for which we offer pre-application advice

Pre-application advice is available for the following licences and permits:

  • Tree felling licences
  • Marine licences
  • Flood risk activities
  • Environmental permit

If the activity you’re looking for advice on isn’t included, please email 

What you can expect from the pre-application advice service

We can provide advice on your specific activity and site, to help you:

  • understand if you need any permissions (permits, licences, authorisations etc) from us, for your activity
  • prepare a quality application or submission for the permissions needed

We will not provide any advice or service that might ‘pre-determine’ or prejudice the determination of an application before it is submitted. This means we cannot:

  • prepare reports for applicants, or
  • carry out pre-assessments of information that should form part of the formal application

This must be done as part of the technical determination of the application. We can only determine an application once we are content that all the necessary information has been submitted, and we formally accept the application.

Do you have to follow the advice provided?

Our pre-application advice service is there to provide advice only.

Submitting an application based on our advice is not a guarantee that a permit, licence, or authorisation will be granted.

We cannot be held responsible for decisions made by other bodies who will have other factors to consider alongside our advice.

Find out if you need a water abstraction licence