Summary of case
This appeal was about a variation by Southern Water to an existing trade effluent consent it had in place with an industrial user. A variation to a trade effluent consent is essentially where a company varies the terms and conditions associated with an existing trade effluent consent.
Shortly after opening the appeal we put it on hold to allow the parties’ to enter discussions in an attempt to resolve the issues as it was clear that the parties had not exhausted all possible negotiations.
Summary of Ofwat’s final decision
As a result of the parties’ on-going negotiations, the appeal was subsequently withdrawn and we have closed the case.
Wider lessons for companies and customers
In accordance with section 126 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (the Act), owners or occupiers of any trade premises may appeal to Ofwat against a direction which varies trade effluent consent conditions but only where it is within two months of receiving the notice of the direction to vary consent conditions or, if at a later time, with our written permission.
On receipt of an appeal, we have the power to annul the direction given by the sewerage undertaker and substitute it for any other direction, whether more or less favourable to the appellant. Any direction we give may include provision as to the charges to be made for any period between the giving of the notice by the sewerage undertaker and the determination of the appeal.
If we decide to put a trade effluent appeal on hold, to allow the relevant parties’ time to enter into discussions in an attempt to resolve the issues, we expect the relevant parties to work together and to consider all available options to resolve the issues.
Relevant Ofwat guidance
23 May 2017
22 March 2018
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