HC Deb 19 July 2001 vol 372 cc395-6W
Hugh Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to grant an exemption to horticulturalists from the licensing scheme for trickle irrigation. [4540]

Mr. Morley

We have no plans to exempt horticulturalists from the abstraction licensing system. The draft Water Bill published last November proposed that trickle irrigation be brought into the licensing system. The system will be revised by a Water Bill when parliamentary time permits.

However, it was proposed in the draft Water Bill that the standard threshold above which an abstraction licence is required should be raised to 20 cubic metres per day. The draft Bill also proposed that the Environment Agency should have the power to set different thresholds in specified areas. So horticulturalists will be exempt if they abstract less than the relevant threshold amount in any area.

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