HC Deb 09 March 1994 vol 239 cc290-1W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what rules govern the giving of planning permission where existing water and sewerage provision will be affected;

(2) what planning regulations existing to safeguard people living in areas of poor water pressure where a new building development is planned in the immediate vicinity; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry

There are no planning regulations which apply specifically to development which might affect existing water and sewerage provision. In determining planning applications, local planning authorities must have regard to the development plan, so far as it is material to the application, and to any other material considerations. Where the development plan is material, the planning application must be determined in accordance with it unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Each planning application must be considered on its merits; water supply and sewerage disposal may be material considerations to be taken into account. The capacity of existing water and sewerage infrastructure and the need for additional facilities should also be considered when development plans are being drawn up. Local planning authorities should consult the appropriate water or sewerage undertaker on any planning application which is likely to have significant implications for water or sewerage services.

Section 65(1) of the Water Industry Act 1991 places a duty on water undertakers to provide water at such a pressure as will cause water to reach the top of the top-most storey of every building within the undertaker's area. In general, the planning system should not duplicate safeguards for water supply or sewerage disposal already available under water legislation.