Plans underway for South East water scheme


Two major firms are seeking planning permission for a water transfer scheme to help safeguard England’s water supply.

Grand Union Canal.
Credit: Mott MacDonald.

The project will involve the transfer of wastewater from the Grand Union Canal to South East England. 

Mott MacDonald and Adams Hendry will lead the delivery of a Development Consent Order (DCO), the necessary permissions needed to carry out Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). 

Developed by Affinity Water and Severn Trent Water, with the support of the Canal & River Trust, the scheme aims to make clean water more accessible in the region, as it has a greater threat of water shortages in the future.  

Full scope 

The plans include upgrading the Grand Union Canal to transport up to 115kl of wastewater per day from the Midlands to the South East. 

Affinity Water will abstract the water from the canal and treat it for public water supply. 

Regarding the plans, Mott MacDonald and Adams Hendry will help secure the necessary environmental consents, and engage with stakeholders and statutory bodies. 


Clean water has become a national priority due to the increase in sewage spills last year.

Consequently, utilities companies around the UK have launched a number of frameworks to improve water quality and protect natural resources. 

Water supplier United Utilities has launched a $14 billion framework to tackle sewage spills and climate-related challenges. 

For its part, Mott MacDonald has partnered with several water companies, including Thames Water and Southern Water, to provide consultancy services for programmes focused on strategic resource options (SROs). 

On the recent appointment, Sarah Henderson, Mott MacDonald’s UK town planning team leader, said: “With a relative abundance of water in the north and west of England compared to the south and east, water transfers will form an important part of making England’s water supply resilient.”

If you found this article interesting, check out Energy giant announces three new CCS plants in the UK.

Get industry news in 5 minutes!

A daily email that makes industry news enjoyable. It’s completely free.