Planning Advice Note 79: water and drainage

Planning Advice Note (PAN) 79 provides advice for planning authorities about setting the direction of development to inform the planning and delivery of new water infrastructure.

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15. In February 2005 the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development made two statements setting out the improvements Scottish Water would be funded to achieve in the period 2006-2014 and also the principles for charging for water and waste water services. These have been formalised in a statement of policy regarding charges and a Direction 2 to Scottish Water to deliver improvements in the quality and standards of service it provides. These improvements build on the work of previous programmes to meet public health and environmental requirements but also set out a framework for addressing development constraints.

16. Under these arrangements Ministers have directed Scottish Water to provide sufficient 'strategic capacity' to meet the needs of all estimated new housing developments and the domestic requirements for commercial and industrial developments. Strategic capacity or Part 4 assets are defined in the Explanatory Note accompanying the Scottish Water (Objectives for 1st April 2006 to 31st March 2010) Directions 2005 as 'Scottish Water's "Primary Assets"; Raw Water Intakes, Water Impounding Reservoirs, Water Aqueducts, Water Pumping Stations, Water Treatment Works and Waste Water Treatment Works'. Thereafter, any enhancement to local infrastructure (ie. Non-strategic assets) should be funded by the developer with Scottish Water providing a contribution towards these costs, in line with its statutory duties. See annex B ' Financing New Infrastructure' for further information.

17. Ministers recognise that there are situations where it can be difficult to attribute the requirement for growth in local infrastructure to any individual developer or development. In such situations, recognising the desirability of developing drainage infrastructure, the costs of reinforcing infrastructure should be borne by the generality of developers through the creation of an infrastructure charge. 3 The funds Scottish Water raises from this charge will be used to help address demands on capacity that cannot be attributed to particular developments. Examples of its use might include building additional capacity into the system when renewing network assets, or supporting the provision of substantial Part 3 assets.

18. In planning and delivering sufficient 'strategic capacity' to meet the needs of all estimated new housing developments and the domestic requirements for commercial and industrial developments, Scottish Water is required to take account of demographic trends. It is required to prioritise the development of new infrastructure in accordance with its quality investment programme, the spatial priorities identified in the National Planning Framework, and the development priorities identified by local authorities in their development plans. Funding has been made available to meet this objective and review arrangements exist should this prove inadequate.

19. A range of environmental legislation (see annex A) imposes conditions on the delivery of Scottish Water's functions and the operation of private schemes. For example, the Urban Waste Water Treatment (Scotland) Regulations 1994 require the provision and maintenance of collecting systems for conurbations. The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 ( CAR) regulate all discharges into the water environment, including groundwater, through a system of licences, registrations and general binding rules administered by SEPA. These regulations provide SEPA with powers to take enforcement action when infrastructure is not appropriately maintained and environmental pollution occurs. See Planning Advice Note 51 Planning and Environmental Protection for further information.


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