Cholderton seeks licence termination in the face of complex regulation

Increasingly complex regulation is putting such a strain on England’s smallest licensed water company that it is seeking for its licence to be terminated.

Cholderton and District Water Company, which serves c2,000 customers around the villages of Cholderton and Shipton Bellinger on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, has applied to Ofwat to become a private water supplier. Ofwat is consulting on the proposal because, while it would free Cholderton from having to deal with the likes of retail market opening and Water 2020 rules, it would also mean the company’s customers would lose statutory protections including price limits.

Under industry rules, all parts of the country need to be covered by a statutory water undertaker. By mutual consent, Wessex Water has applied to vary its licence so it covers Cholderton’s area.

If Ofwat approves the deal, Cholderton would continue to supply customers through its existing network as a private water supplier.