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Clause 25 - Procedure for granting water supply and sewerage licences

Water Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 10th December 2013.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Clause 25 introduces the procedure for granting water supply and sewerage licences under the new water supply and sewerage licensing regime. The current procedure for issuing water supply licences is prescribed through regulations by the Secretary of State in the Water Supply Licence (Application) Regulations 2005. Clause 25 passes responsibility to Ofwat to determine the relevant procedure for both types of licence, including any fees payable, and to publish a notice outlining that information. The intention is to give Ofwat control over the process of granting licences, rather than set out the procedure in legislation. That will give Ofwat responsibility equivalent to that held by Ofcom in the telecommunications  industry. It will also make it easier to align the application process and fees with the relevant procedure in the Scottish market.

Clause 25 also removes the current requirement for applicants who wish to apply for a water supply licence to publish a notice of their application. That means that neither an applicant for a water supply licence nor an applicant for a sewage licence will need to publish a notice of their application. These changes implement a red tape challenge commitment to reduce regulation by repealing the Water Supply Licence (Application) Regulations 2005 by April 2015. Removing the requirement for applicants to publish a notice of their application will remove an unnecessary regulatory burden on new entrants.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 25 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.