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Water Act 2003

Sections 11 to 14 Applications for a licence

56.Provisions in sections 11 to 14 are devolved to the Assembly.

57. .Section 11: Who may apply for a licence.

This establishes the qualification necessary in order to apply for abstraction licences: a right of access to the land where the abstraction takes place. Occupation of land continues to serve as evidence of a right of access. Applicants have to demonstrate that they have the right of access for at least one year from the date on which the licence is to take effect, or for the intended duration of the licence if that is less than one year.

58. .Section 12: Abolition of combined licences.

Currently, the EA can issue a licence for both an impoundment and an abstraction as a ‘combined licence’, although only a small number of such licences exist. With the proposals to time limit all new abstraction licences and for an impoundment licence to remain in force until revoked, there are unlikely to be situations in future where a combined licence might be issued. This section therefore repeals section 36 of the WRA, thereby removing the Agency’s power to issue a combined licence. Existing combined licences will be converted into separate abstraction and impounding licences.

59. .Section 13: Applications: types of abstraction licence.

Applicants have the initial choice of what type of abstraction licence to apply for. This section enables the EA to require an applicant for one type of abstraction licence to apply instead for another type, or to group several related applications together. The applicant can appeal to the Secretary of State against the Agency’s decision.

60. .Section 14: Publication of application for licence.

Licence applications must be brought to the attention of those likely to be affected by them. This section enables the detailed publication requirements, including the circumstances in which they are dispensed with, to be prescribed in secondary legislation. Where necessary, publication requirements may be undertaken by the EA, whose costs are reimbursed as a separate element of the licence application fee.

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