HousebuildeR Wilson Connolly is suing utility firm Mid Kent Water for £1.6m, claiming it was overcharged for water supplies.

The writ alleges that Mid Kent Water required unreasonable security on the housebuilder's sites – sometimes more than 10 times the cost of providing water supplies.

On one development the water company demanded a non-refundable contribution of £488,660 plus VAT, or a deposit of £728,474 to provide supplies. Wilcon claims that £44,203 would have been a reasonable deposit.

The housebuilder says £782,043 was overclaimed and wants this money returned. It is also asking for additional damages for misrepresentation.

The writ claims that utilities are not entitled to make a profit by providing water mains, and that Mid Kent Water should therefore repay any surplus above its expenses.