A consultation on new guidelines for considering large-scale waste water infrastructure projects has been launched by the Government today.
The Waste Water National Policy Statement (NPS), announced by Defra, will be used by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) when deciding whether such applications should get the go-ahead.
The policy will be applied to large-scale developments, referred to as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) in the Planning Act 2008. The NPS refers to two projects that may be dealt with by the IPC - the proposed treatment works at Deephams in North East London, and the Thames Tunnel which will carry waste water from sewage overflows which currently run into the Thames.
Under the new guidelines, applicants of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects will need to consider aspects such as the standard of design, whether any alternatives exist to the project, pollution control and wildlife conservation.
The Government is taking measures to lessen demands on waste water infrastructure in England through sustainable drainage systems. However, more infrastructure is required to prevent environmental damage and poor water quality.
The Infrastructure Planning Commission is due to be replaced by the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit, to be set up as part of the Planning Inspectorate. However, the guidelines announced today - subject to consultation - are likely to be transferred to the new body.
The consultation on the Waste Water National Policy Statement continues until 22 February 2011. People can lodge their views by responding to the questions contained within the consultation document that accompanies the NPS.
The Waste Water National Planning Statement (NPS) is available on the Defra website at the following link: archive.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/waste-water/