Rogue welsh quango to scupper Cameron's house building plans

Published:  12 September, 2012

WALES: A rogue quango, Welsh Water, with the full support of the devolved Welsh administration, is set to scupper the plans announced last week by David Cameron to boost housebuilding, with anti-development measures it will introduce on 1 October.

Julia Evans, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), has called on new Housing Minister Mark Prisk to intervene, particularly since Welsh Water services parts of Cheshire, Shropshire and Hereford, thus stopping housebuilding in parts of England, too.

She also sounded a warning to the Minister that unless they are also stopped, English Water companies plan to do the same next year - apparently with the full support of the Environment Department.

"New appointments, Housing Minister, Mark Prisk and Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, must get together to stop the water industry bringing housebuilding to a dead stop", she said. "Even at this late stage, they should also try to persuade the Welsh Government to re-think."

From 1 October this year, the Welsh Government will activate a part of the little known Flood and Water Management Act 2010, under which Welsh Water will impose construction requirements and other funding demands on house builders that cannot be met.

But unless they agree to those terms, set out in what is called a Section 104 Agreement, it will be illegal for house builders to start building on a site, and they face stop notices and fines, even though it has full planning permission.

Although a date has not yet been set for the same powers to be used by the English water companies, it is feared they will bring this in as early as April 2013, with disastrous consequences.

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