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Water Resource Infrastructure

Volume 737: debated on Monday 18 September 2023

Following the approval of the House, I am pleased to inform the House that I am today—18 September 2023—designating the national policy statement (NPS) for water resources infrastructure under section 5(1) of the Planning Act 2008, and have arranged for publication as required by section 5(9)(a) of that Act.

The national policy statement for water resources infrastructure provides a clear framework for those making development consent applications for water resources infrastructure, in particular by setting out the need for infrastructure providing assessment principles against which an application should be examined and determined. The NPS gives water companies clarity regarding the Government’s planning expectations, and added certainty about the areas planning inspectors might consider at a planning inquiry. This also supports the implementation of the Government’s “Plan for Water” and securing our water supplies by enhancing the resilience of water infrastructure.

The next step is for applicants to develop their plans, and then carry out further public consultation as required under the Act. Any application for development consent will of course be considered carefully and with an open mind based on the evidence provided, including through a public examination by the independent Planning Inspectorate, before a final decision is made.