Cornwall

Concerns over costs to register septic tanks

Holiday accommodation providers in Cornwall are concerned about the costs involved in registering septic tanks.

Homeowners could face high registration fees on top of the other costs of maintaining private sewerage systems.

The Defra scheme is currently on hold because of concerns the rules will put an unnecessary burden on homeowners.

Malcolm Bell from Visit Cornwall said the additional bureaucracy will "hit the profitability of businesses".

He would like to see a "simple flat rate rather than one calculated using flow rates".

Mr Bell said: "If it's a matter of just registering that you have a tank, it seems more common sense to me that this should be a nominal flat rate charge rather than some complicated formula that seem to be there."

The requirement to register was a result of regulations made in 2010 by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Welsh Government, as part of the implementation of the European Union Water Framework Directive.

Registration was considered to provide the "lightest touch approach" to meet legal obligations.

A Defra spokesperson said: "We are now undertaking a joint review with government on the requirement to register small domestic sewage discharges in England.

"There will be a Defra consultation on the options, details of which will be announced in the next few weeks."

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