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Last week, the government announced its Local Nutrient Mitigation Fund would be open for consultation for 6 weeks, closing on 24th May 2023. The Brookbanks Team has reviewed the implications of this announcement and summarise our key takeaways below:

⭕ The Spring budget 2023 saw the government commit to funding the delivery of high quality, locally led nutrient mitigation schemes. Extensive consideration of options and further consultation with Local Planning and Water Authorities showed that the large scale impacts and the effects of Nutrient Neutrality are now being considered on a more proactive footing.

⭕ Once the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (LURB) legislation is in place, developers and consultants are able to consider their development’s nutrient budgets in line with Waste Water Treatment Works upgrades (guaranteed to be in place by 2030 and thus reducing mitigation requirements for the in-perpetuity period), with a proportion of nutrient pollution only required to be mitigated up to 2030. This may be even earlier subject to the timing of the upgrades.

⭕ Timescales set out within the document suggest that the issue of Nutrient Neutrality is not going away quickly, with funding timescales reaching up to 24 months.

⭕ Government has highlighted a preference for combining environmental payments through addressing the issues of Nutrient Neutrality and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) to deliver holistic and comprehensive solutions. A credit “stacking” scheme has been proposed, however credits generated for other ecosystem services such as carbon credits cannot be used.

⭕ Nature based intervention such as land fallowing and wetland schemes are highlighted as preferential for mitigation purposes in many cases although this is not exclusive of other mitigation options.

⭕ Efforts are encouraged to fix “legacy infrastructure” through innovative and technical solutions for reducing pollution.

The specialist Brookbanks’ Nutrient team is well-equipped and experienced to assess your land and potential mitigation strategies for feasibility and effectiveness.

Get in touch with Dean Swann to find out how this latest update could help your development or generate nutrient credits!

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Technical Director, Highways, Environmental and Transition Group

Dean Swann

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Siobhan McGlynn

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