(1C) The person making an application under subsection (1A) above (“the
applicant”) may by notice appeal to the Secretary of State if—
(a) he is dissatisfied with the decision of the Agency as to—
(i) whether his licence may be revoked; or
(ii) any conditions imposed by virtue of subsection (1B)
(b) the Agency fails to give notice of its decision to the applicant
within the prescribed period or within such extended period as
may be agreed in writing between the Agency and the
(1D) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision with respect
(a) the grounds upon which notices of appeal may be served under
subsection (1C) above;
(b) the manner in which such notices shall be served;
(c) the period within which such notices shall be served;
(d) the procedure on any such appeal.
(1E) Where an appeal is brought under subsection (1C) above, the Secretary
of State may—
(a) allow or dismiss the appeal or reverse or vary any part of the
decision of the Agency, whether the appeal relates to that part
of the decision or not; and
(b) may deal with the application as if it had been made to him in
the first place.
(1F) The decision of the Secretary of State on any appeal under subsection
(1C) above shall be final.
(1G) Subsections (1C) to (1F) above are subject to section 114 of the 1995 Act
(delegation or reference of appeals).”
(4) In section 114 of the Environment Act 1995 (c. 25) (power of Secretary of State
to delegate or refer in connection with appeals), in subsection (2)(a)(v), after
“43,” there is inserted “51,”.
(5) The amendments made by this section apply (as regards any act or omission
after this section comes into force) in respect of impounding licences,
regardless of when the impounding works were constructed.
24 Proposals for modification at instance of Agency or Secretary of State
(1) Section 52 of the WRA (proposals for modification of licences at the instance of
the Agency or the Secretary of State) is amended as follows.
(2) After subsection (1) there is inserted—
“(1A) In the case of a licence to obstruct or impede any inland waters, a
variation may take the form of a requirement that the impounding
works be modified in ways specified in the proposed new provision of
(3) In subsection (4), for paragraph (b) there is substituted—
“(b) be published in the prescribed way or (if no way is prescribed)
in a way calculated to bring it to the attention of persons likely
to be affected if the licence were revoked or varied as
(4) In subsection (5), for “otherwise than in the London Gazette” there is
substituted “as mentioned in subsection (4)(b) above”.
(5) For subsection (6) there is substituted—
“(6) A notice for the purposes of subsection (4) above shall—
(a) include any prescribed matters; and
(b) state that, before the end of a period specified in the notice—
(i) the holder of the licence may give notice in writing to the
Agency objecting to the proposals; and
(ii) any other person may make representations in writing
to the Agency with respect to the proposals.”
(6) For subsection (7) there is substituted—
“(7) The period referred to in subsection (6)(b) above—
(a) begins on the date the notice referred to in subsection (4) above
is first published as mentioned there; and
(b) shall not end before the end of the period of twenty-eight days
beginning with that date.”
(7) Subsection (8) is omitted.
Transfer and apportionment of licences
25 Transfer and apportionment of licences
(1) After section 59 of the WRA there is inserted—
“59A Transfer of licence
(1) The following licences—
(a) a full licence;
(b) a transfer licence; or
(c) a licence to obstruct or impede the flow of inland waters by
means of impounding works,
may be transferred by the holder of the licence to another person (“the
transferee”) in accordance with the following provisions of this section.
(2) The holder and the proposed transferee shall give notice (a “transfer
notice”) to the Agency of their agreement that the licence should be
(3) The transfer notice shall include—
(a) such information as the Agency reasonably requires; and
(b) (in the case of the transfer of a full licence or of a transfer licence)
a declaration by the proposed transferee that—
(i) he has, or at the time when the proposed transfer is to
take effect will have, a right of access in relation to each
point of abstraction; and
(ii) he will continue to have such a right for the period of at
least one year beginning with the date on which the
proposed transfer is to take effect, or until the licence is
to expire (if sooner),
and may specify the date on which the holder and the transferee wish
the transfer to take effect.
(4) If the holder is a person in whom the licence has vested under section
59B below, a transfer notice shall be of no effect unless the notice
required by section 59B(4) has been given.
(5) Subject to subsection (4) above, if the Agency receives a transfer notice
which complies with the requirements of subsections (2) and (3) above,
the Agency shall amend the licence by substituting the name of the
transferee as holder of the licence.
(6) The transfer shall take effect—
(a) from the date on which the Agency amends the licence; or
(b) from the date specified in the transfer notice, if later.
(7) Nothing in this section shall affect the liability of the holder of the
licence for any failure by him, before the transfer took effect, to comply
with any condition or requirement of that licence.
(8) In this section—
“point of abstraction” means a place where the licence authorises
water to be abstracted from inland waters or (as the case may
be) a place consisting of or comprising underground strata from
which the licence authorises water to be abstracted; and
“right of access” means, in relation to a point of abstraction, a right
of access to land of the kind referred to in subsection (2)(a) or, as
the case may be, (3)(a) of section 35 above; and references to a
person who will have such a right of access shall be construed
in accordance with that section (including subsections (4) to (6)).
59B Vesting of licence on death or bankruptcy of holder
(1) On the death of the holder of a licence under this Chapter, the licence
shall be regarded as property forming part of the deceased’s personal
estate, whether or not it would be so regarded apart from this
subsection, and shall accordingly vest in his personal representatives.
(2) If a bankruptcy order is made against the holder of a licence under this
Chapter, the licence shall be regarded for the purposes of any of the
Second Group of Parts of the Insolvency Act 1986 (insolvency of
individuals; bankruptcy) as property forming part of the bankrupt’s
estate, whether or not it would be so regarded apart from this
subsection, and shall accordingly vest as such in the trustee in
(3) A person in whom a licence vests under this section shall become the
holder of the licence, in place of the prior holder, from the date of the
(4) Where a licence vests in any person under this section, that person shall
give notice of that fact to the Agency not later than the end of the period
of fifteen months beginning with the date of the vesting.
(a) a licence vests in any person under this section; but
(b) that person fails to give the notice required by subsection (4)
above within the period mentioned there,
the licence shall cease to have effect.
59C Apportionment of licence to abstract
(1) The holder of a full licence or of a transfer licence (the “old licence”)
may apply to the Agency for the division of the holder’s right to
abstract water in accordance with the old licence and for the transfer—
(a) to another person of part, or to a number of other persons of
parts not amounting to the whole; or
(b) to a number of other persons of parts amounting in all to the
of that right.
(2) The holder of the old licence and any person proposing to carry on a
part of the abstraction authorised by the old licence in place of the
holder (a “successor”) shall give notice to the Agency of their
agreement to the division and transfer (an “apportionment notice”).
(3) The apportionment notice shall, in relation to the abstraction
authorised by the old licence—
(a) specify, for each proposed successor, what quantity of water it
is proposed he be permitted to abstract, and (if the holder of the
old licence is to continue the abstraction in part) what quantity
of water it is proposed he be permitted to abstract;
(b) specify the purpose or purposes for which the persons referred
to in paragraph (a) above would be permitted to abstract water
(being one or more of the purposes for which abstraction is
authorised under the old licence);
(c) specify the point (or points) of abstraction from which it is
proposed those persons would be permitted to abstract water
(being one or more of the points from which abstraction is
authorised under the old licence);
(d) include a declaration by each of those persons who requires a
licence under this Chapter in order to carry on the abstraction
(i) he has, or at the time when the proposed grant to him of
a new licence under subsection (5) below is to take effect
will have, a right of access in relation to each such point
of abstraction; and
(ii) he will continue to have such a right for the period of at
least one year beginning with the date on which the new
licence is to take effect, or until it is to expire (if sooner);
(e) include such other information as the Agency reasonably
and may specify the date on which the holder and the successor (or
successors) wish the division and transfer (or transfers) to take effect.
(4) The apportionment notice shall be accompanied by an application on
the part of the holder of the old licence for its revocation.
(5) Subject to subsection (9) below, if the Agency receives an
apportionment notice and the application for revocation referred to in
subsection (4) above, the Agency shall—
(a) revoke the old licence;
(b) if the holder is to continue the abstraction in part and a licence
is required under this Chapter for that purpose, grant to the
holder of the old licence a licence relating to that part of the
(c) grant to each successor who requires a licence under this
Chapter in order to carry on his part of the abstraction a licence
relating to that part of the abstraction.
(6) Sections 34 to 45 above shall not apply to the grant of a new licence
under subsection (5) above.
(7) Subject to section 46 above and to any provision of regulations made
under section 59D(1) below, each new licence to be granted under
subsection (5) above shall be granted subject to provisions which
correspond as nearly as practicable to those of the old licence in relation
to the part of the abstraction to be authorised by the new licence.
(8) The revocation of the old licence and the grant of the new licences shall
(a) from the date on which the Agency revokes the old licence and
grants the new ones; or
(b) from the date specified in the apportionment notice, if later.
(9) The Agency shall not grant a new licence to the holder of the old licence
or to a successor if, by virtue of an exemption, the restriction on
abstraction would not apply to that part of the abstraction proposed in
relation to him in the apportionment notice.
(10) For the purposes of this Chapter, a person (whether the holder of the
old licence or a successor) who proposes to carry on a part of the
abstraction in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (9) above
shall, if the old licence was a full licence, be taken to have the right to
do so in relation to that part, subject to subsection (11) below.
(11) For the purposes of this Chapter, a person shall cease to be taken to
have a right, by virtue of subsection (10) above, to carry on an
(a) during a period of four years that person does not carry out any
such abstraction; or
(b) following an order under section 27A(1) above or regulations
under section 33A above, that person is granted a full licence in
respect of abstraction from the same point.
(12) For the purposes of section 39A above, a new licence granted under
subsection (5) above shall be treated as if it (together with any other
new licence granted by virtue of the relevant apportionment notice)
had been granted at the time of, and in place of, the grant of the old
(13) In this section—
“exemption” means the disapplication of the restriction on
abstraction under or by virtue of section 27 or 33A above; and
“point of abstraction” and “right of access” have the same
meanings as in section 59A above.
59D Apportionment of licence to abstract: supplementary
(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations about the provisions to be
contained in licences granted under section 59C above.
(2) Nothing in section 59C above shall affect the liability of the holder of
the old licence for any failure by him, before the revocation of that
licence took effect, to comply with any condition or requirement of that
(3) If the holder of the old licence is a person in whom the old licence has
vested under section 59B above, an apportionment notice shall be of no
effect unless the notice required by section 59B(4) has been given.
(4) In this section, “apportionment notice” and “old licence” have the same
meanings as in section 59C above.”
(2) In section 47 of the WRA (holders of licence)—
(a) for subsection (2) there is substituted—
“(2) The person to whom a licence under this Chapter is granted to
abstract water or to obstruct or impede any inland waters is the
holder of the licence for the purposes of this Act, subject to
sections 59A to 59C and 67 below.”,
(b) subsection (3) is omitted.
(3) In section 189 of the WRA (register of abstraction and impounding licences), in
subsection (1)(b), for the words from “section 49” to the end there is substituted
“section 59A, 59B or 59C above”.
(4) Sections 49 and 50 of the WRA (which relate to the succession to licences to
abstract water) shall cease to have effect.
(5) Subsection (4) does not affect the succession to a licence to abstract water where
the death or other act or event referred to in section 49(2)(a) or 50(1)(a) or (b) of
the WRA occurred before the coming into force of that subsection, and section
49 of the WRA or (as applicable) any regulations under section 50 of the WRA
which were in force immediately before the coming into force of subsection (4)
are to continue to have effect in relation to such a case despite the repeal of the
Claims and compensation
26 Claims arising out of water abstraction
(1) After section 48 of the WRA there is inserted—
“48A Civil remedies for loss or damage due to water abstraction
(1) Subject to subsection (7) below and to section 79 (including that section
as applied by section 79A(9)) below, a person who abstracts water from
any inland waters or underground strata (an “abstractor”) shall not by
that abstraction cause loss or damage to another person.
(2) A person who suffers such loss or damage (a “relevant person”) may
bring a claim against the abstractor.
(3) Such a claim shall be treated as one in tort for breach of statutory duty.
(4) In proceedings in respect of a claim under this section, the court may
not grant an injunction against the abstractor if that would risk
interrupting the supply of water to the public, or would put public
health or safety at risk.
(5) Except as provided in this section, no claim may be made in civil
proceedings by a person (whether or not a relevant person) against an
abstractor in respect of loss or damage caused by his abstraction of
(6) Nothing in this section prevents or affects a claim for negligence or
breach of contract.
(7) This section does not apply, and no claim may be brought under this
section, where the loss or damage is loss or damage caused by an
abstractor acting in pursuance of a licence under this Chapter and—
(a) in respect of which a person is entitled to bring a claim under
section 60 below (or would be so entitled if there were a breach
of the duty referred to in that section);
(b) in respect of which a person would have been entitled to bring
a claim under section 60 below but for an express provision
(including, for example, section 39(1A) above and section
59C(6) below) disapplying that duty; or
(c) constituting grounds on which a person is entitled to apply to
the Secretary of State under section 55 below (or would be so
entitled but for subsection (2) of that section) for the revocation
or variation of that licence,
but without prejudice to the application of section 48 above.”
(2) In section 48 of the WRA (general effect of licence), in subsection (2), after
“supply” there is inserted “(other than an abstraction in respect of which a
claim could be brought under section 48A below, in which case that section
(3) In relation to loss or damage suffered before the coming into force of this
(a) section 48A of the WRA inserted by subsection (1) of this section does
not apply, and
(b) section 48 of, and paragraphs 1(2) and 2 of Schedule 7 to, the WRA
continue to have effect as if subsection (2) of this section were not in
27 Compensation for modification of licence on direction of Secretary of State
(1) Section 61 of the WRA (compensation where licence modified on direction of
the Secretary of State) is amended in accordance with subsections (2) and (3).
(2) In subsection (4), for “seven” there is substituted “four”.