Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.



The PLA’s Licensing team are responsible for ensuring that all developments (works) in the river; dredging and; inland waterways vessels operating commercially on the tidal Thames are appropriately licensed in accordance with the relevant sections of the PLA Act. They are also responsible for answering and consenting a range of non-statutory enquires and functions.

There are 7 main categories of licence detailed below. If you are in any doubt as to what type of licence you need, please contact the Licensing team.

This licence is required when new works are proposed (for example a new pier) or where it is proposed to vary existing works (for example to increase the number of piles or to vary the use of the 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 demolition licence is required where it is proposed to demolish works either in part or in full.

A dredging licence is required for any works involving cleansing, scouring, deepening, widening the bed and banks of the Thames.

Works of a temporary nature require a licence unless they are non intrusive, in which case the written consent of the PLA is required.

This licence is required where it is proposed to permanently embank land, for example where a new river wall is proposed.

All commercially operating vessels operating within the Port of London limits are required to hold a licence.

Guidance and commonly asked questions about the licensing application process.

Other Enquiries and Activities

The Licensing team also deal with other enquiries and activities that take place on the River Thames and the foreshore. If you have any questions regarding these requests and activities, please contact the Licensing team.

Where information is required about river works, a property related search can be requested by filling in a questionnaire.

Anyone searching the tidal Thames foreshore from Teddington to the Thames Barrier must hold a current foreshore permit.

Our River Works Enforcement Officers investigate, undertake compliance and enforcement actions.

All commercial filming, photography and events on the tidal Thames requires a licence.