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EA advice on permit surrender and temporary cessation options

29th Mar 2022 / By Alistair Driver

The Environment Agency has provided an update on ‘permit surrender’, where operators choose to cancel their permit.

The operator has to apply to the EA to surrender their permit, which can be an expensive process.

There are several parts to the application form and they can be downloaded on the Government’s website HERE

The section titled ‘Cancel an installations, waste and mining waste operations permit’ links to the relevant forms parts.

The operator will also need to complete the ‘surrender’ section of their site condition report that was submitted as part of the original permit application, so the Agency can check the operator has protected land and groundwater while the farm had a permit and that the land is in a satisfactory state when the operator surrenders their permit.


There is a charge to surrender a permit. An intensive farming surrender application would usually be classed as a low-risk surrender, meaning the application charge is lower and that there is no need for sampling.

The full surrender charge for an intensive farming permit is £4,812.

A low-risk surrender charge is 20% of the permit application charge of £8,020, which equates to £1,604.

The operator will need to get agreement from their local Environment Officer that the farm can apply for a low-risk surrender. There is a box to tick in part E2 of the form to say it’s a low-risk surrender.

Further information on the charges is available HERE.

Empty farms

If a permitted farm stops rearing livestock for between 1 and 2 years, under the environmental permitting charging scheme the operator can request ‘temporary cessation’.

The agency will then reduce their annual subsistence charge by 50%. This applies to farms that are members of the Pig and Poultry Assurance Scheme and those that are not in the scheme, but there are different charges.

For farms that are in the scheme the subsistence charge will reduce from £1,444 to £722. For farms not in the scheme the subsistence charge will reduce from £2,386 to £1,193.

To request temporary cessation, contact your local Environment Officer. After two years the charge will increase back to the full amount. Further information on is available HERE

NPA comment

NPA policy services officer Lizzie Wilson said she hoped there are not many who have to surrender their permits.

“I would advise that producers seriously consider not surrendering their permit completely as it will be far more difficult and expensive trying to get it back. This is why the temporary cessation may be more attractive for some.”

AHDB hans updated its permitting web page with details about surrendering permits.