Apply to cancel your water abstraction or impoundment licence

How to cancel (revoke) a licence


If you no longer abstract water and want to revoke your abstraction licence, you should complete the online form for an administrative variation.

Boreholes and wells that are no longer needed for abstraction need to be made safe, structurally stable and backfilled and sealed to prevent groundwater pollution. We recommend that you seek advice from a specialist contractor to determine the best way of decommissioning your borehole or well.


If you want to revoke your impoundment licence, the type of application required depends on whether the structure is built and whether there is a licence in place.

If you have an impoundment licence and the structure has been built, please contact us for further advice using our pre application enquiry service.

If you have an impoundment licence and the structure was not built, apply for an administrative variation to revoke the licence.

If there is no licence in place for an existing structure, you need to apply for a new impoundment licence to remove the structure. Once that licence has been issued and the structure has been removed, you can then apply for an administrative variation to revoke the licence.

How much will it cost?

It is free to revoke your licence and we aim to make a decision within 20 days.

An application fee is payable if you need to apply for an impoundment licence to remove an impounding structure. 

Death or bankruptcy of a licence holder

If the licence holder dies or is an individual who is declared bankrupt, the licence can become the responsibility of (can be ‘vested’ to) their trustee. No application form is required but the trustee must notify us in writing within 15 months that they are responsible for the licence.

If you are transferring the licence into your name within this 15 month period, documentary evidence will need to be submitted to authorise the transfer, for instance a copy of a death certificate.

If the trustee does not notify us within 15 months, the licence will cease to have effect. There is no guarantee a new licence on the same terms could be issued in the future.


Last updated