WCC position statement on nitrate neutral development

Nitrate neutrality

A position statement on nitrate neutral development was approved by Cabinet on 22 January 2020.   The position statement sets out how development proposals should consider the issue.

An update to the council’s position was approved by Cabinet on 22 July 2020. This now allows the council to start collecting off-site financial contributions towards mitigation solutions which will be delivered either by the City Council or in partnership with another agency.

The Solent has recognised problems from nitrate enrichment; high levels of nitrogen from human activity and agricultural sources in the catchment have caused excessive growth of green algae (a process called eutrophication) which is having a detrimental impact upon protected habitats and bird species.

As part of the information needed to determine relevant planning applications, a European Site avoidance and mitigation checklist will be required.

All applications and proposed mitigation will still be assessed by the council on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Natural England.

The council, together with other local authorities within the Solent catchment area, will continue to investigate a range of possible mitigation options, with a strong preference for schemes capable of delivering wider environmental benefits. Discussions will also continue with government agencies and the wastewater industry on addressing the sources of nitrate pollution