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Water Bill [HL]


Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding

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 11    Power to provide for further exemptions

After section 33 of the WRA there is inserted—

       “33A            Power to provide for further exemptions

           (1)           The Secretary of State may make regulations providing for further cases

in which—

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                  (a)                 the restriction on abstraction (and, in the case of abstractions

from underground strata, the other restrictions imposed by

section 24 above); or

                  (b)                 the restriction on impounding works,

                         shall not apply; and in this section such a case is referred to as an

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“exemption”.

           (2)           The regulations may, in particular, make provision, in relation to an

exemption—

                  (a)                 for the exemption to apply only for a prescribed period;

                  (b)                 for the exemption not to apply unless prescribed conditions are

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satisfied, or continue to be satisfied;

                  (c)                 for the Agency to be notified, or its consent obtained—

                        (i)                        before any particular abstraction operation or series of

such operations begins; or

                        (ii)                       in connection with such an operation or series of

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operations relating to the abstraction of water in

underground strata, before any other thing which is

mentioned in section 24(2) above is done; or

                        (iii)                      before any impounding works are constructed or

altered,

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                                      in reliance on the exemption.

           (3)           The regulations may provide for an exemption to apply generally or to

relate to—

                  (a)                 a prescribed geographical area;

                  (b)                 a prescribed source of supply (in the case of an exemption from

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the restriction on abstraction or the other restrictions imposed

by section 24 above); or

                  (c)                 prescribed inland waters (in the case of an exemption from the

restriction on impounding works).

           (4)           Subject to subsection (5) below, if regulations under this section

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provide for an exemption falling within subsection (1)(a) above, the

regulations shall—

                  (a)                 if appropriate, make provision for the exemption not to permit

a person who is authorised by a licence under this Chapter to

carry on an abstraction operation (or series of operations) to

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carry it on beyond the authorisation conferred by the licence;

and

                  (b)                 make provision as to whether or not, in relation to any

abstraction, the exemption provided for by the regulations is to

be counted cumulatively with any other exemption which a

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person has by virtue of this section or section 27 above.

           (5)           The regulations may make provision for a licence granted under this

Chapter and which is for the time being in force to cease to have effect,

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding

    14

 

or to cease to have effect to the extent specified in the regulations, if it

authorises an activity which falls to any extent within the exemption

provided for by the regulations.”

 12    Orders under section 33 of the WRA, etc

     (1)    The appropriate authority may by order revoke—

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           (a)           any order made under section 33 of the WRA (power to provide for

further rights to abstract),

           (b)           any order made under any local or private Act which provides for any

exception from—

                  (i)                 the restriction on abstraction (within the meaning of Chapter 2

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of Part 2 of the WRA), or

                  (ii)                that restriction and the one imposed by section 24(2) of the

WRA,

                         or for an exception which has the effect of such an exception.

     (2)    An order of a kind referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) is

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referred to below in this section as an “exception order”.

     (3)    In this section, “the appropriate authority” means—

           (a)           in relation to the revocation of an exception order which relates to

inland waters or underground strata which are wholly in England, the

Secretary of State,

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           (b)           in relation to the revocation of an exception order which relates to

inland waters or underground strata which are wholly in Wales, the

Assembly,

           (c)           in relation to the revocation of an exception order which relates to

inland waters or underground strata which are partly in England and

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partly in Wales—

                  (i)                 the Secretary of State, in relation to the English part,

                  (ii)                the Assembly, in relation to the Welsh part.

     (4)    Subject to subsection (3)(c), an order under this section may revoke the

exception order either wholly, or only in relation to—

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           (a)           any one or more areas of inland waters specified in the order under this

section or any class of inland waters so specified, or

           (b)           any underground strata described in the order under this section in any

way mentioned in section 33(2)(b) of the WRA or any other way.

     (5)    As respects all or any part of the inland waters or underground strata in

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relation to which the exception order is revoked by the order under this

section, the order under this section may, for the purposes of section 27(1) of

the WRA, also make any provision which could be made by an order under

section 27A(1) of the WRA as substituted by section 8 of this Act, except as

mentioned in subsection (6).

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     (6)    The exception referred to in subsection (5) is that any other quantity specified

in the order under this section for the purposes of section 27(1) of the WRA may

only be greater than 20 cubic metres.

     (7)    If an order under this section does make any such provision as is mentioned in

subsection (5), an order under section 27A(1) of the WRA (substituted as

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mentioned there) may include provision revoking or amending that provision.

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding

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     (8)    If an order made under subsection (1)(b) revokes the exception order wholly,

or wholly so far as it is not already revoked, the order under subsection (1)(b)

may also repeal so much of the local or private Act as constitutes the power to

make the exception order.

     (9)    The procedure provided for by section 33 of and Schedule 6 to the WRA, or (as

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the case may be) any corresponding procedure provided for by the local or

private Act in question, does not apply in relation to an order under this

section.

     (10)   The power of the Assembly to make an order by virtue of subsection (3)(b) or

(c)(ii) of this section is to be treated as if it were a relevant transferred

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environmental function for the purposes of paragraph 6 of Schedule 3 to the

Government of Wales Act 1998 (c. 38) (intervention in case of functions relating

to water).

     (11)   No order may be made under this section before the coming into force of

section 8 of this Act.

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     (12)   Section 33 of the WRA shall cease to have effect; but (subject to the provisions

of this section) any order under section 33 of the WRA which was in force

immediately before its repeal shall continue in force despite the repeal.

Applications for a licence

 13    Who may apply for a licence

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     (1)    Section 35 of the WRA (restrictions upon who may apply for abstraction

licences) is amended as follows.

     (2)    For subsections (2) and (3) there is substituted—

           “(2)              In relation to abstractions from any inland waters, a person shall be

entitled to make the application if, as respects the place (or, if more than

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one, as respects each of the places) at which the proposed abstractions

are to be effected, he satisfies the Agency that—

                  (a)                 he has, or at the time when the proposed licence is to take effect

will have, a right of access to land contiguous to the inland

waters at that place (or those places); and

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                  (b)                 he will continue to have such a right for the period of at least

one year beginning with the date on which the proposed licence

is to take effect, or until it is to expire (if sooner).

           (3)              In relation to abstractions from underground strata, a person shall be

entitled to make the application if he satisfies the Agency that—

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                  (a)                 he has, or at the time when the proposed licence is to take effect

will have, a right of access to land consisting of or comprising

those underground strata; and

                  (b)                 he will continue to have such a right for the period of at least

one year beginning with the date on which the proposed licence

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is to take effect, or until it is to expire (if sooner).

           (3A)              The Agency may, in particular, take evidence of a person’s occupation

of land to be evidence of his right of access to it.”

     (3)    In subsection (4)—

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding

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           (a)           for “is the occupier of” there is substituted “will have a right of access

to”, and

           (b)           in paragraph (a), for “occupy” there is substituted “a right of access to”.

 14    Abolition of combined licences

Section 36 of the WRA (combined abstraction and impounding licences) shall

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cease to have effect.

 15    Applications: types of abstraction licence

     (1)    After section 36 of the WRA there is inserted—

       “36A            Applications: types of abstraction licence

           (1)           The Agency may decide that—

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                  (a)                 an application for a full licence, a transfer licence or a temporary

licence ought to be for one of the other types of licence;

                  (b)                 a number of applications for licences (of any type or types) to

abstract water from a particular source of supply ought to be

treated as an application for a single such licence (of any type);

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                  (c)                 an application for a single licence (of any type) to abstract water

from a particular source of supply ought to be treated as a

number of applications for such licences (of any type or types);

or

                  (d)                 any such application as is referred to above ought to be

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accompanied by an application for revocation of an existing

licence to abstract water.

           (2)           The Agency may arrive at the decision referred to in paragraph (a), (b),

(c) or (d) of subsection (1) above on the basis of its assessment of any

one or more of the following—

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                  (a)                 the likely effect of the abstraction (or abstractions) for which the

applicant has applied for a licence (or licences);

                  (b)                 the likely effect of that abstraction (or those abstractions) taken

together with abstractions under any other licence held by the

applicant, or abstractions which would be authorised under

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any other licence for which the applicant has applied;

                  (c)                 any other prescribed matter.

           (3)           If the Agency does so decide, it shall serve a notice of its decision on the

applicant; and, subject to subsections (4) to (8) below, shall deal with

the application (or applications) accordingly (which, if the Agency

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made the decision referred to in paragraph (d) of subsection (1) above

in relation to any application (or applications), means not publishing

any notice under section 37 below, or taking any further step in

connection with the application (or applications), until the application

for revocation has been received).

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           (4)           The applicant may by notice appeal to the Secretary of State against the

decision, and shall serve a copy of any such notice on the Agency.

           (5)           That notice, and the copy of it, shall be served in such manner and

within such period as may be prescribed.

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding

    17

 

           (6)           If the Agency serves a notice under subsection (3) above, it shall not

publish any notice under section 37 below, or take any further step in

connection with the application (or applications), before—

                  (a)                 the end of the period within which notice of an appeal may be

served on the Secretary of State; or

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                  (b)                 if notice of an appeal is so served, the appeal has been

determined.

           (7)           The Secretary of State—

                  (a)                 may allow or dismiss the appeal, or vary any part of the

decision of the Agency, whether the appeal relates to that part

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of the decision or not; and

                  (b)                 shall direct the Agency to deal with the application, or

applications, accordingly (which, if the Agency’s decision was

made under paragraph (d) of subsection (1) above in relation to

any such application, and that decision is upheld, may mean

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not publishing any notice under section 37 below, or taking any

further step in connection with the application, until the

application for revocation has been received).

           (8)           Subsections (2) and (7) of section 44 below apply in relation to an appeal

under this section as they apply in relation to an appeal under section

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43 below.

           (9)           This section is subject to section 114 of the 1995 Act (delegation or

reference of appeals).”

     (2)    In section 41 of the WRA (Secretary of State’s power to call in applications),

after subsection (2) there is added—

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           “(3)              An application may not be referred to the Secretary of State under this

section—

                  (a)                 if in relation to the application the Agency is still considering

whether to make any such decision as is referred to in

subsection (1) of section 36A above, or if it has made such a

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decision but has not yet served the notice referred to in

subsection (3) of that section; or

                  (b)                 where the Agency has served a notice on the applicant under

subsection (3) of that section, until the period for appealing

under that section has expired or (if the applicant appeals) the

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appeal has been determined.”

     (3)    In section 45 of the WRA (regulations with respect to appeals)—

           (a)           in subsection (1), after “against decisions” there is inserted “of the

Agency under section 36A above or”,

           (b)           after subsection (2) there is inserted—

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                  “(2A)                    Subsection (2) above does not apply in relation to appeals

against decisions of the Agency under section 36A above.”

     (4)    In section 114 of the Environment Act 1995 (c. 25) (power of Secretary of State

to delegate or refer in connection with appeals), in subsection (2)(a)(v), after

“section” there is inserted “36A,”.

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