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Water Act 2003

83. .Section 25: Compensation for modification of licence on direction of Secretary of State.

The Agency has powers to revoke or vary any abstraction licence; its decision is subject to appeal to the Secretary of State. Currently, if a licence that has not been used for seven years is revoked or varied, then the holder is not entitled to compensation. This section reduces the period of non-use for this purpose to four years. The Agency would not be expected to revoke licences that are held for valid contingency planning reasons (so-called ‘sleeper’ licences).

84.For new licences, this section removes any entitlement to compensation if a licence is varied in order to protect water availability in the source of supply to which the licence relates. Compensation is not payable where a variation does not reduce the amount of water licensed to below the minimum amount specified in any licence. This provision only applies to a licence (of greater than 12 years duration) that has been granted after section 19 of this Act has come into force, where the variation takes effect twelve years or more after the licence was granted.

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