Water Licence Appeals

On Appeals


The lack of detail about appeals on the WR176 water licence form rather looks like the EA setting themselves up as the gatekeepers to the appeals process we think it's fair to say - "we'll tell you how to appeal when we inform you of our decision" doesn't play well with our experience of unexplained delays and denials of communication which we've witnessed from EA officials - particularly when the 28 day guillotine for appeal is apparently applied rigidly..... 



In the WR176 licence application form - this is the section on appeals:
You can appeal to the Secretary of State (in England) or the National Assembly for Wales (in Wales) if:
● you are not happy with the conditions we include on your licence
● we refuse your application for a licence
● we serve notice on you regarding the type or number of applications you have applied for
● we do not process your application on time.  - erm.... yes - that's what we did 279 days after we applied (25Sept09-30thJune10)
We will send details of how you can appeal when we advise
you of our decision on your application. If we do not process
your application on time, you may appeal within 28 days of the
end of the usual processing time (or the end of any agreed 
extended period).
           - what happens if they've a history of not responding and when queried they umm ... "can't find" your advice of appeal?

The appeals process and who decides the appeal is different in the different parts of the United Kingdom.

The table below summarizes the appeals information provided by the relevant U.K. licence authority.

 England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
    www.pacni.gov.uk
No contact details provided
Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England. (Caroline Spelman at the moment)
No contact details provided
The Welsh Ministers, 
or - depending where you read it ...
the National Assembly for Wales (What! all of them?)

 The Scottish Ministers
The Water Appeals Commission
3rd Floor, Park House,
87-91 Great Victoria Street
Belfast BT2 7AG
A guide to getting your licence
Right-oh, - 3 Forms:
WR173 - English (PDF, 74KB)
WR174 - English (PDF, 89KB)

WR176 - English (PDF, 1MB)

(Guidance Notes)


WR173 - Welsh (PDF, 84KB)
WR174 - Welsh (PDF, 1.08MB)
WR176 - Welsh (PDF, 1.25MB)


Don't know enough Welsh to comment but fair bet that it's gotsomething like this in there


  Water Abstraction Application
Statutory Determination Time Limit:unknown (NOT volunteered)
Determination Window

Temporary licence aim:28 days
Non advertised licence aim: 90 days
Advertised licence aim :120 days

+"agreed delay" ho-ho!

Statutory Determination Time Limit: unknown (NOT volunteered)
Determination Window
Temporary licence aim:28 days
Non advertised licence aim: 90 days
Advertised licence aim :120 days

+"agreed delay"
Statutory Determination Time Limit: unknown (NOT volunteered)
Determination Window
There appears to be only one of 120 days
 ("four months" quoted)
Statutory Determination Time Limit:unknown (NOT volunteered)
Determination Window
unknown - not looked for
 Appeal Window:28 days

Appeal details only provided by EA"when we advise you of our decision on your application." so... if they haven't taken a decision they wait forever or until 28 days have elapsed from their end of "aim"period. Strangely a bit elastic it seems - that 28 days time limit on appeals eh? 


At the end of the day,  there is a worrying circularity about this appeals statement section in WR176. They've taken too long and then... they are specifically setting themselves up as the gatekepers to the appeals process (28 days wide remember) - sooo...  what's the odd 159 days between friends eh?  sheesh

Applicant management? nah, couldn't be could it?
Appeal Window:28 days

Appeal details only provided by EA"
when we advise you of our decision on your application." so... if they haven't taken a decision they wait forever or until 28 days have elapsed from their end of "aim"period?  


Appeal Window:**90 days or maybe *28 days

The process appears to have become quite different in a few ways in Scotland with devolved government and new legislation out of sync with everybody else..

*An overview of the Scottish process for the curious which quotes the 28days although **SEPA documents seem to quote Regulation 46 of the Controlled Activities (Scotland) Regulations 2005 which alludes to 90 days.

Unresolved - a far away land of which we know little.
 Appeal Window:28 days



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