EFRA Committee probes National Policy Statement for water resources

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into the draft National Policy Statement (NPS) for water resources infrastructure.

The Committee has invited written submissions by 6 March on the following areas:

• Will the draft NPS encourage the sustainable, resilient and safe infrastructure projects required to meet future challenges?

• Are the assessment criteria that must be considered in development consent applications adequately set out?

• What are the implications of streamlining the planning process, whereby a NSIP already included in a Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP) does not need to be revisited as part of a development consent?

• How effectively has DEFRA consulted with relevant stakeholders, such as industry and other parts of government, in the development of the draft NPS?

• Are there any other issues that the Committee should consider when scrutinising the draft NPS?

The draft NPS sets out the government’s policy for development of nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) for water resources in England. The final NPS will be used as the primary basis for decisions on development consent applications relating to water resources NSIPs.

The draft NPS is subject to consultation according to the procedures laid down in the Planning Act 2008, as amended by the Localism Act 2011. A public consultation on the draft NPS took place between 29 November 2018 and 31 January 2019, and a process of parliamentary scrutiny will now take place.