Thames Water

Ofwat concern over costs

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The water regulator is writing to Anglian Water, SES Water, Thames Water, and Yorkshire Water to give them early notice that it has "substantial concerns" about their proposed costs for the 2020-25 period.

David Black, Ofwat senior regulator, said: “We said we would scrutinise each and every plan in detail to ensure they are robust enough to deliver a high quality, affordable and resilient service to customers in the next five years and beyond.

"We are disappointed that revised proposals from Anglian Water, SES Water, Thames Water, and Yorkshire Water have not yet risen to the challenge we have set them."

Councils rake in millions after selling off public land

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Both Waltham Forest and Redbridge councils have made substantial sums selling off public land.

Between 2014 and 2018, Waltham Forest Council sold off nine sites gaining a total income of £29,641,578.

During the same period, Redbridge Council sold off 10 sites and made £942,543 from the sales.

In Waltham Forest, land sold off included St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Walthamstow, sold to the Catholic administrative body Chelmsford Diocese, for more than £1 million.

Willowfield School in Walthamstow was also sold to an academy company for £5 million.

In one sale, the council sold off a car park in Walthamstow for a massive £21 million to a development firm for new housing to the built on the site.

In Redbridge, sites sold off included flats, houses and reservation strips at the back of people’s houses.

The council even had a statutory sale of the Thames Water Pumphouse, which was sold to Thames Water Utilities for just £1.

A spokesman for Waltham Forest Council explained the authority has been selling off “underused” property and land across the borough to enable it to deliver more homes, commercial and leisure space.

They said: “The money gained from these sales has gone onto pay for improving services and facilities that our residents rely on including refurbished Children and Family Centres, Adult Learning Services as well as new sports facilities such as the Feel Good centre’s in Leyton and Walthamstow.

“We will continue to reduce our estate in order to prioritise funding for the services that residents rely on and ensure that the we have the homes and commercial space that Waltham Forest needs.”

Sewage site to become 'ground-breaking' housing estate

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

The major redevelopment of a sewage treatment site into a housing estate with around 1,500 homes has been hailed as “ground-breaking".

Contracts have been signed between Guildford Borough Council and Thames Water for the Slyfield Area Regeneration Project.

Weyside Urban Village will have 1,500 homes, of which 40% will be affordable.

The Thames Water treatment works will be relocated from the site on Woking Road, which could take three years including the decontamination of the site to make it ready for housing,

Newer odour control equipment and ways to treat the sewage means much smaller sites are needed.

Anton Draper of MHCLG, James Whiteman of Guildford Borough Council, Steve Spencer of Thames Water and leader of the council Caroline Reeves
Anton Draper of MHCLG, James Whiteman of Guildford Borough Council, Steve Spencer of Thames Water and leader of the council Caroline Reeves

Anton Draper, head of investment and regeneration at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "It’s novel and it’s exciting. It’s ground-breaking. Other water companies are coming to talk to us to understand how this has been coming together.”

Finer details are still being worked on and planning applications have to be submitted to both the county and borough council for approval.

Guildford’s Local Plan has a target of 10,678 new homes by 2034.