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Decision making process, evidence requirements and timetable for designation and de-designation of a bathing water
Recommendations for designation and de-designation will be accepted at any time from anyone by the Welsh Government. We suggest you contact your local authority as they will often hold helpful information about the bathing water and are responsible for meeting various requirements under the Bathing Water Regulations 2013.
In order to ensure we can give full consideration to the applications received and undertake necessary processes, applications for designations and de-designations made after 31 October 2022 will be considered for designation for the 2024 bathing season.
It is important to include as much evidence and information as possible about bather numbers, and where possible, facilities in the area and views of the local community when requesting a designation or de-designation of a bathing water.
Bather numbers is the criteria which the Welsh Government will apply when considering whether it is appropriate to designate or de-designate a bathing water.
We are looking for evidence of large numbers of bathers at sites during the period 15 May to 30 September.
‘Large numbers’ is defined as a number which the competent authority (in this case the Welsh Government) considers to be large in relation to past trends, infrastructure or facilities provided, or other measures taken to promote bathing. The application form provides more information on the kind of evidence to provide.
We are looking for evidence of no/low usage of bathers during the period 15 May to 30 September. The application form provides more information on the kind of evidence to provide.
Applications for de-designation on water quality grounds will not be granted.
Process and timetable
All application and evidence received by the Welsh Government will be acknowledged by letter or email.
Evidence will be assessed by the Welsh Government and if it meets the requirements of the Bathing Water Regulations 2013 it will be put on the Welsh Government’s website for consultation.
If the evidence supplied does not meet the requirements, it will be returned and the application will be placed on hold. We will write to the applicant to explain what further information needs to be provided.
Completed applications and evidence will be put on the Welsh Government’s website for a 6 week consultation period. The Welsh Government will also formally write to Natural Resources Wales and the appropriate water company for information relating to the specific bathing water.
A final decision by the Welsh Government is based on the evidence supplied and a response to consultation will be made within 6 weeks of the consultation ending.
At any point during the process the applicant may be asked by the Welsh Government to provide further information. In this situation the public consultation may need to be restarted when the evidence is received.
Roles and Responsibilities
The criteria for designation and de-designation is on bather numbers. We have not set a numerical figure on the numbers of bathers, as all bathing waters are different and one figure may not be suitable for all sites. We look for evidence of numbers of swimmers, people paddling at the water’s edge and people on the beach. We consider anybody swimming or paddling in the water to be a bather.
The Welsh Government is responsible for designation and de-designation in Wales and will base decisions on the evidence supplied in accordance with the set criteria for designation and de-designation. Where the Welsh Government considers that a designation or de-designation is required, it will approach the local authority, private operator in order to take their views into account.
The Welsh Government will make the names of any organisations, or person representing an organisation or group who recommend a designation or dedesignation, known in the applications process. We will protect personal information of members of the public who recommend a designation or dedesignation.
Notification of Decision
The Welsh Government will notify the applicant, relevant local authority and appropriate Water Company of the decision made on designation or dedesignation. The Welsh Government will also inform Natural Resources
Wales who will develop a bathing water profile for the site and take forward plans to monitor and protect the designated bathing water.
A summary of the decision will also be published on the Welsh Government website.