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Waste Water National Policy Statement

Volume 540: debated on Thursday 9 February 2012

Having considered consultation responses and the report of the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, I am today laying before Parliament the waste water national policy statement as an un-numbered Command Paper. At the same time, I am also laying, pursuant to section 5(9)(b) of the Planning Act 2008, the Government’s response to the Select Committee.

A written response to the consultation and an updated version of the impact assessment is also being published on the Department’s website at:

National policy statements are critical to the new planning system, which will help developers bring forward waste water projects of national significance without facing unnecessary delays, while ensuring local people have an opportunity to have a say about how their communities develop, and that decisions are made in an accountable way by elected Ministers.

The waste water national policy statement sets out our need for waste water infrastructure to protect public health and ensure the health of our water environment with the consequent benefits for our water supply and biodiversity. Despite measures which will slow the growth in demand for new waste water infrastructure in England, for example the use of sustainable drainage systems, we will continue to need investment in new waste water infrastructure in order to modernise outdated infrastructure, meet future demands from a growing population and the effects of climate change, and to fulfil our EU obligations.

It has been agreed with the House that the same procedure as set out in the Localism Act, when it comes into effect, will be followed for national policy statements already in development. I intend to designate the national policy statement after a period of 21 sitting days has elapsed, or following a debate in the House of Commons if the House wishes one, and approves the national policy statement, within that period.