Defra consults on nationally significant water resources infrastructure

Defra has launched a new consultation seeking views on the types and sizes of nationally significant water resources infrastructure, including reservoirs, water transfer schemes and desalination plants, in order to amend the Planning Act 2008. Defra is consulting on its proposals for the types and sizes of infrastructure which should be considered as ‘nationally significant’ infrastructure projects. The consultation supports the development of the National Policy Statement for Water Resources.

Defra held its first formal public consultation on the new National Policy Statement for Water Resources in late 2017 which included questions on the type of infrastructure it should apply to. The consultation received responses from a wide range of stakeholders across various sectors including water, agriculture and energy. The largest group of respondents were water companies. However, while the Department received a wide range of helpful views and evidence, there was no clear consensus on what might be the most effective sizes of infrastructure to include within the Planning Act 2008 definitions.

The new consultation contains five questions specifically relating to the types and sizes of infrastructure. The responses will inform the final amendments to the Planning Act 2008 infrastructure thresholds which will be laid before Parliament later this year. Following this, Defra will consult on the draft National Policy Statement (NPS). Deadline to submit responses to the consultation is 26 April 2018 – click here to access the consultation online.

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