This consultation ended 30 July 2015.
Details of outcome
This consultation sets out draft guidance which outlines the options for securing a sustainable sewerage system for properties not connected to the public sewerage system.
The majority of properties in England and Wales are connected to the public sewerage system but an estimated 4% of properties depend on independent privately owned and operated systems.
Where these systems are unable to provide a satisfactory long term solution one option is for the owners to apply for the provision of a public sewer under the first-time sewerage provisions in Section 101A of the Water Industry Act 1991.
This draft guidance provides information to assist householders occupiers and property owners in deciding if Section 101A provides the right solution in their circumstance and sets out the roles and responsibilities of:
- the sewerage undertakers
- the environmental regulators (Natural Resources Wales and Environment Agency)
- property owners
on how Section 101A should be applied.
We had previously consulted on this issue in 2014. As a result of the consultation responses we made a number of amendments to the Guidance which was subsequently published in July 2014.
Following the publication of the guidance concerns were expressed about an amendment that related to clarification around whether permanent caravan and mobile homes should be regarded as ‘buildings’ for the purpose of considering suitability of premises for connection to a public sewer under Section 101A. Comments were received that the amendment implied an inflexible legal rule that permanent caravans and mobile homes are ‘buildings’ which was inserted without further consultation.
The guidance has been amended to leave open the question as to whether permanent caravans etc. are ‘buildings’. We have set out relevant considerations for the undertaker to take into account when deciding whether to provide a public sewer to premises containing permanent caravans and mobile homes.
The guidance has also been amended to reflect the decision of the Welsh Ministers to designate the Planning Inspectorate to determine disputes arising from applications under Section 101A.
In light of these amendments we have taken the decision to reconsult and we welcome your views both on the proposed changes to the guidance and on any other aspects of it.