• by Karma Loveday

Defra lays draft Order to amend water resource thresholds in the Planning Act


DEFRA has laid a draft Order in Parliament to amend the types and sizes of nationally significant infrastructure for water resources set out in the Planning Act 2008, as part of its work to develop a National Policy Statement for Water Resources.

In August, the Department confirmed it would make the following amendments:

  • Reservoirs – The volume held back will be increased to 30 million cubic metres (30,000 Ml) and a qualifying figure of 80 Ml a day deployable output will be introduced.

  • Transfers – the threshold will be reduced from the current 100 million cubic metres to developments which are expected to exceed 80 Ml a day deployable output. This is broadly equivalent to 30 million cubic metres a year.

  • Desalination – a specific definition for desalination plants which exceed 8Ml litres a day deployable output will be introduced.


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