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  • by Karma Loveday

New National Policy Statement for water resources streamlines reservoir planning

The path for the creation of reservoirs, desalination plants and transfer schemes in England was smoothed last week when the government published a new National Policy Statement (NPS) for water resources.

The NPS will streamline the planning permission process for nationally significant water infrastructure projects, with a view to enabling new water supply infrastructure. It set out the need and Government policies for the development of nationally significant infrastructure projects. It will be used as the primary basis for project examination by the Planning Inspectorate and by the secretary of state when considering development consent applications for nationally-significant water resource infrastructure projects.

It also provides planning guidance for applicants of nationally significant infrastructure projects for water resources, as defined in the Planning Act 2008. It statement provides assessment principles against which an application for development consent will be examined and determined, and more detailed guidance on the construction and operational impacts of the infrastructure types.

The NPS was published the day before the National Infrastructure Commission set out a suite of recommendations to speed up infrastructure planning timescales (see story HERE). These included a proposal that National Policy Statements should, by law, be updated every five years to ensure they remain relevant.


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