Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 99 (Oct)
Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division

May LJ and Bodey J

Representation James Watson QC (instructed by Legal Department, Thames Water Utilities Ltd, Reading) for the claimant.
  The defendant did not appear and was not represented.
Judgment Dates: 8 October 2002


Water supply - Charges - Charge for connection to water supply or public sewer - Premises which had never at any previous time been connected to a supply of water or public sewer provided for domestic purposes - Defendant converting buildings into flats - Claimant providing flats with connections to supply of water and public sewer - Claimant charging defendant for connections on basis flats 'premises never previously connected' - Defendant contending flats not new premises - Whether flats premises never previously connected to a supply of water of public sewer - s 146(2).

The Case

The meaning of the word 'premises' in s146(2) of the had to be considered in the context of the word 'connection' within that section. Premises had, therefore, to include a new development, but would probably not include a modest alteration to an existing building. Where an existing building was converted, the question was one of fact and degree as to whether the result was a new premises or not. In the instant case, 109 flats which had resulted from the conversion of two buildings were plainly new premises never previously connected to the water or sewerage system within the meaning of s146(2) of the Act.

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