Philip Dunne questions the Government on efforts to ensure that new development does not overload existing water treatment infrastructure and calls for water companies to become statutory consultees for local authorities so their views on water treatment capacity are sought before local authorities grant consent for significant developments.
Development: Water Treatment Infrastructure
15. What steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the development of homes and commercial buildings does not overload existing water treatment infrastructure. (900727)
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.
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?
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 the Member for Pudsey (Stuart Andrew), on these matters and that the Minister is happy to meet him to discuss this in greater detail.