Development: Water Treatment Infrastructure

Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – in the House of Commons at 2:37 pm on 27th June 2022.

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Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Chair, Environmental Audit Committee, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee 2:37 pm, 27th June 2022

What steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the development of homes and commercial buildings does not overload existing water treatment infrastructure.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The national planning policy framework is clear that, through their local plans, local authorities should make sufficient provision for the development and infrastructure required in their areas to help deliver sustainable development. Water companies are expected to plan their future infrastructure investment to accommodate future growth and ensure that adequate infrastructure provision is not a limiting factor.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Chair, Environmental Audit Committee, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee

I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. Does he agree that it would be appropriate for water companies to become statutory consultees for local authorities and that their views on water treatment capacity should be sought before local authorities grant consent for significant developments?

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

There already is a statutory requirement in place for local planning authorities to consult water and sewerage companies on the preparation of local plans. Developer contributions can also be used to secure infrastructure improvements, including for wastewater. I understand that my right hon. Friend has already been in touch with the office of the Minister for Housing, my right hon. Friend Stuart Andrew, on these matters and that the Minister is happy to meet him to discuss this in greater detail.