When acquiring land or property for commercial development, water and wastewater needs are paramount. Whether it’s a new build or a renovation, having access to water is fundamental. For new developments, one of the most important things developers need to know about the water supply is whether there will be enough water for their needs.

Check the supply before you buy

In England, there is a much-lauded plan to develop the area between Oxford and Cambridge, known as the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. The idea was to provide better transport links between the two cities and to provide space for new science and technology businesses, along with a million new homes. However, the ambitious plans could fail because of the water supply. Cambridge is already a water-stressed area, which means that planned developments could be capped or scrapped if alternative water sources are not found. If this happens, the housebuilders and developers that have already bought sites in the proposed arc will lose money on their investment.

There are similar issues in other parts of the UK. In Crawley, planning applications in Crawley are now required “to demonstrate to Crawley Borough Council as the Local Planning Authority that they do not increase pressure on water resources – in other words, show that they are ‘water neutral’”. In order to be able to proceed in the planning process, developers are now legally obliged to build “significant water efficiency measures” into their development. The council has made it clear that the “onus is on developers and planning applicants to demonstrate that they can deliver water neutrality for their proposals”.

Other considerations

When applying for planning permission for a new business development site in the UK, you will need to show a detailed site layout plan showing where the proposed premises are. This enables the water wholesaler to ensure there’s enough water to supply the development and to work out where the mains need to be placed. If there are any existing mains connections on the site that will affect your development, plans will need to be altered to take them into account. It may also be the case that you may need to cross a third-party site in order to lay the pipes, in which case you will need to get permission from the landowner prior to the work being carried out.

Choosing the right business water supplier

Currently, new business connections in England must be organised with the relevant water and wastewater wholesalers or with an independent contractor, known as a self-lay provider. It may, however, be beneficial to speak with your chosen retailer in the first instance. Your retailer can liaise with the wholesaler on your behalf and help you to understand the technical requirements.

As the UK’s leading independent business water retailer, we can offer you the best possible price on water and wastewater services. With an online account, simple billing, and access to our award-winning customer service team that has earned more 5-star reviews on Trustpilot than all other water retailers combined; you can rest assured that we’ll take care of all the hard work for you. Additionally, our range of additional services partners can carry out some of the required development work at a competitive price, ensuring that it meets the conditions set by your wholesaler. To find out more, please speak with us.

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