The list of statutory consultees is under constant review. Whilst particular organisations or bodies might not be statutory consultees on planning applications, they can work proactively with local councils to identify developments where they might have an interest and can comment on proposals within the statutory public consultation period. The decision to grant or refuse a planning application ultimately rests with the local planning authority, who will take into account all relevant planning considerations and not just the advice from one consultee.
Planning practice guidance encourages early engagement between local planning authorities and water/sewerage companies where water quality is likely to be a significant planning concern. Part 8 of the Development Management Procedure Order 2015 - “Miscellaneous – Local Development Orders” states that where a local planning authority has prepared a draft Local Development Order in which the interests of water/sewerage companies are likely to be affected, the authority must consult those companies. Consultation with water/sewerage companies also ensures that the companies’ investment plans align with local development needs. Water/sewerage companies should also be consulted on Local Plans in order to manage water demand locally and help deliver new development.