Last week was a busy one for the Government with not one but two governmental responses to the ongoing Nutrient Issue.
Last week was a busy one for the Government with not one but two governmental responses to the ongoing Nutrient Issue. The first was the Ministerial Statement from DEFRA on the 20th July, which Brookbanks covered in our Social Media post of 21st July. The second release followed the day after in a letter from the DLUHC Chief Planner to all Chief Planning Officers whose areas are affected by the requirement to consider Nutrient Neutrality. This letter set out the effect of the aforementioned DEFRA Ministerial Statement and its impact from a planning perspective for those Authorities. It also made clear what the Government are doing to address the issue long term.
While it remains positive that the Government are now taking this matter extremely seriously, it is still apparent from the latest releases that for some time yet, development is going to have to secure its own initiative solutions to the issue while the national picture and guidance continues to shift.
In particular we would draw your attention to the following statement in the letter above from DLUHC “so that mitigation is operational and in place, prior to any nutrient pollution being discharged”. This key point infers that mitigation still needs to be in place and operational before occupation. The likelihood of this occurring through natural solutions such as land fallowing and wetlands on such a scale to release the current burden on the industry anytime soon remains remote when you consider the amount of land required to do this.
It therefore remains clear that in the short to medium term, impacted developments will still need to assess nutrient budgets, look at on and off site solutions and mitigate impacts, resulting in significant delays and costs.
At Brookbanks our Highways, Environment and Transition Team continue to provide class leading nutrient mitigation services and expertise across the country.
We are committed to assisting Government Departments on a solutions following these recent releases.