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Ban on New Residential Development Across 74 UK local planning authorities


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Dear Build Hub Members

 

As many of you will be in the process of considering plots, preparing planning, or like us waiting for an approval, the enclosed news may be (i am afraid) very bad news if you are living in one of the 74 local planning authorities which received the enclosed guidance from Natural England on 16th March 2022.

 

The report below provides a lengthy but complete overview of the situation which in short means that if you are planning a new build which increases the amount of nitrate your application will at best be delayed by several months and if approved come with a significant additional tax to mitigate the new nitrates. (in the Solent the average house requires x2 credits costing c£25k)

 

Whilst i hope not many of the forum members will be impacted those of you who are may find this a valuable source of information and perhaps (cold) comfort that you are not alone in the madness of the UK planning system  

 

Bob

 

----------------------------- England planning news, April 2022 (lichfields.uk) --------------------

 

Further Natural England advice leads to more housing and leisure decision delays

Natural England advice setting out requirements relating to Habitats Regulation Assessment of protected sites can have the effect of preventing certain planning decisions being made. Protected sites include Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites.
 
While the issuing of such advice is not new, advice has been issued to 74 local planning authorities at the same time, 42 of which had not received Natural England advice on this matter in the past.
 
 
Written Ministerial Statement
This follows a written ministerial statement from the Environment Secretary on 16 March 2022:
 
"Many of our most internationally important water bodies are designated as protected sites under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. Under the Habitats Regulations, competent authorities, such as local planning authorities and the Environment Agency, must assess the environmental impact of planning applications or local plans. As a result of these regulations and European case law, Natural England has advised that in areas where protected sites are in ‘unfavourable condition’ due to nutrient pollution, Local Planning Authorities can only approve a project if they are certain it will have no negative effect on the protected site.
 
"Following further work to understand the sources of site deterioration, Natural England has today issued updated advice and support to the 32 Local Planning Authorities currently affected by nutrient pollution, as well as 42 new LPAs. So far this approach has too often been complex, time-consuming and costly to apply, and government is clear that action is needed to make sure that we both deliver the homes communities need and address pollution at source."
 
The statement goes on to explain that Natural England has devised “a ‘nutrient calculator’ to enable development to take place in a sustainable way” and that £100,000 grants are available to each affected catchment “to support cross-Local Authority work to meet Natural England requirements and enable development to continue”.
 
The written ministerial statement concludes by saying that legislation to further strengthen requirements to reduce nutrients at source will be brought into force.
 
 
Natural England advice letter
On the same day Natural England issued a 25 page advice letter to the affected authorities. According to a subsequent letter from the Leader of Havant Council to the Levelling Up Secretary and the Housing Minister, the letter was issued with no prior warning.
 
Tables setting out the affected LPAs are included within Annex C of the letter. Table 1 shows “Existing sites in unfavourable condition due to excessive nutrients which require a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and where nutrient neutrality is being deployed as mitigation”. It identifies the habitats site and catchment, the LPAs affected within that catchment, the type of nutrient to which the advice applies and provides a summary of the development types affected by the advice. The table also shows whether there is Nutrient Neutrality Methodology and Calculator produced by Natural England or LPA. However, there is a footnote stating “Nutrient neutrality calculators have been provided for all the catchments listed above, even where there is an existing nutrient neutrality calculator”. So even where nutrient neutrality calculators were in place, Natural England has made changes that are likely to make mitigation more difficult. Some of these LPAs have received new advice regarding other catchments too.
 
Table 2 of Annex C is a list of “Additional habitats sites in unfavourable condition due to excessive nutrients which require a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and where nutrient neutrality is a potential solution to enable development to proceed”. This table simply identifies the habitats site and catchment and the LPAs affected within that catchment and the type of nutrient to which the advice applies. These are the LPAs that have previously not been issued with advice.
 
The advice letter affects proposed developments for all types of overnight accommodation including new homes, student accommodation, care homes, tourism attractions and tourist accommodation and permitted development for new overnight accommodation.
 
 
Chief Planner letter
A letter from the Chief Planner to the affected LPAs said:
 
"For planning applications in the affected areas, this means you need to consider the possibility of adverse effects, as a result of additional nutrient loads (including from residential developments); as part of a Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA).
 
"In practical terms, this means that before granting any new permissions following the receipt of the Natural England advice, you will need to be confident that the development in question does not require nutrient neutrality to be acceptable under the regulations or that nutrient neutrality is secured, as part of the proposal. […]
 
"I appreciate that this will have an immediate impact on planning applications and appeals in affected areas. There may be a need to reconsider the acceptability of current proposals, in light of the advice issued. […]
 
"We recognise that in the newly affected areas, it is unlikely for there to be mitigation solutions in-place or readily available and so the ability for development to be made acceptable will be necessarily limited in the short term. As we have seen in catchments already affected by similar advice, it may take time for applicants to secure mitigation to be able to demonstrate neutrality”.
 
 
More than a development industry matter
A Natural England blog, published on 18 March acknowledges:
 
“The sources of excess nutrients include sewage treatment works, septic tanks, livestock, arable farming and industrial processes. These are long-running issues spanning decades and will be complex to resolve”.
 
It continues:
 
“The best we can do in the short term is to stop the situation getting worse which is why we have developed a neutral approach to nutrients. This isn’t legalistically driven, it’s an environmental imperative that the regulatory safety net has caught. In the long term we need to work in partnership across catchments and sectors to enact Environment Act targets of reducing nutrient pollution in water by reducing phosphorus loading from treated wastewater by 80 per cent by 2037 and reducing nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment from agriculture to the water environment by 40 per cent by 2037”.
 
 
Comment
Harry Bennett’s Lichfields Planning Matters blog considers the impact of the Natural England nutrient neutrality advice on the requirement for LPAs to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply of deliverable sites, with reference to a recent appeal decision. This is the first in a series of Lichfields blogs on the matter – you can subscribe at the end of any blog page.
 
For an insightful discussion on the broader and legal implications of the latest Natural England advice we recommend the Clubhouse sessions convened by Simon Ricketts of Town Legal “More Natural England development bans : what to do?” and also Simon’s blogs.
 
Water neutrality
In addition to nutrient neutrality, there are existing requirements to be water neutral in parts of North Sussex within that fall within parts of Crawley, Arun, Chichester and Horsham LPAs. A position statement with an interim approach having been issued by Natural England in September 2021.
 
Strategic solutions for recreational pressure
And on 14 March 2022, Natural England issued advice to Buckinghamshire Council (Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Districts), Central Bedfordshire Council, Dacorum Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, and Hertfordshire County Council. The advice is in respect of concerns about recreational pressure on Ashridge Commons and Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and says that a strategic solution to that pressure is required.
 
“Natural England understand that Strategic Solutions can be a time consuming process, and will lead to a period of time where strategic-level mitigation hasn’t yet been identified. During this period we advise that HRAs will be needed, detailing how each individual site is going to avoid adverse impacts on the integrity of the Chilterns Beechwoods SAC. This is for all planning applications that result in a net increase in dwellings, within the entire 500m – 12.6km ZOI”.
 
The advice also refers to around 20 existing Strategic Solutions nationally and notes:
 
“The tests of the 2019 Habitats Regulations (EU exit amendment) are a high bar to pass for any individual planning application. In essence each application would need to prove that in itself it wouldn’t harm the SAC either alone or in combination with all other planning applications in the ZOI”.
 

Natural England Advice for development proposals with the potential to affect water quality resulting in adverse nutrient impacts on habitats sites, uploaded by Cornwall Council, 16 March 2022

Lichfields Planning Matters, Nutrient Neutrality – A housing supply headache

Natural England advice regarding recreational impacts upon Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the need for a Mitigation Strategy, uploaded by Dacorum Council

Natural England’s Position Statement for Applications within the Sussex North Water Supply Zone, September 2021 – Interim Approach, uploaded by Chichester Council

Map of the Sussex North Water Supply Zone, uploaded by Horsham Council

 

impacted areas.png

Edited by bob the builder 2
update
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We are in Scotland so not directly affected by the English legislation, but...

 

We have built by a Loch of Special Scientific Interest, which has extremely strict requirements on nutrient inputs to the water body.  With this comes a boundary line, where anything water born can make its way by natural drainage into the loch.  This line of influence depending on elevation changes can be several hundred or ten of metres away from the loch water edge.

 

Our house is within the influence line, but our treatment plant (which has strict output limits) has to discharge outside the boundary line, to a soakaway 100m away.  Luckily we have the land, but within our plot there is only just enough room to install the soakaway.

 

So things can be done, you just need to armed with the information before you proceed with a purchase, near water.

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So this nitrate thing.  Isn't this mainly an agricutural issue?  too much / wrong type of fertiliser?

 

So how does the average house connected to a mains sewage system ADD to the levels of nitrates running off the land?

 

Genuine question as it sounds like a blanket ban to solve a problem not caused by housing?

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I took a very brief look at this a while back and as I understand it - it was to do with simply connecting more houses to the sewer network. The process was something like you had to look at how many 'credits' your local sewage plant had left and, if there wasn't enough you had to buy mitigation credits from a nearby scheme such as wetland restoration.

 

All seemed overly complex and a bit shady, sounds like 'carbon credits' again.

 

I agree theres issues, but this seems an overly complex way of going about it. How about stop dumping sewage in rivers and the sea first?

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Why oh why can't ALL the government agencies have a bit of joined up thinking which aligns with government policy.

 

There is a shortage of housing so the government is trying to encorage more housing (including penalising council's who fail to consider provision) and now LPA's are rubbing their hands together as the advice being given just gives them another excuse to stop housing being built.

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17 minutes ago, Rob99 said:

Why oh why can't ALL the government agencies have a bit of joined up thinking which aligns with government policy

It is because successive governments have devolved powers to LAs. This gives the impression that the government is doing the right thing, but being let down by the LAs.

All a load of political bollocks and should stop.

The motoring journalist and TV personality James May once said 'if I came to power there would be one law: Don't be an arse'.

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2 hours ago, ProDave said:

So this nitrate thing.  Isn't this mainly an agricutural issue?  too much / wrong type of fertiliser?

 

 

This

 

Anyone who has been down the Wye Valley recently will have noticed the normally clean waters turn bright green over the last couple of years.  Its disgusting and all because of chicken farms' run-off into the river.  And no action is taken against the big chicken famers that supply our free range barn raised eggs.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/05/river-pollution-leads-to-welsh-demand-for-halt-to-intensive-poultry-units

 

 

Edited by Mr Blobby
bird flu
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There's a decent piece on this over at Planning Resource from late 2019:

https://www.planningresource.co.uk/article/1665502/algae-blocking-10000-planned-homes

 

I don't understand why in 2019/2022 English Nature are taking such heavy notice of a 2018 ECJ ruling centering on a legal action about a development in the Netherlands from even further back. Does the ECJ have competence over our planning law? Is this classic bureaucrat gold-plating?

 

Having said that, there look to be enough alternate routes within planning law for most self-builders to find a way, especially as so many of us process our .. er .. soot on site.

 

Unless LAs are actually saying "refuse to accept PA", in which case it is an interesting little conundrum.

 

Nor am I sure about whether SPAs actually apply here - I have mainly met them wrt to birds such as Dartford Warblers.

 

A Chinese Puzzle.

 

I think the Housing Minister needs to put English Nature back in their toybox, and come up with some balanced ideas.

 

Ferdinand

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40 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Just getting my Inspector Morse book of cryptic clues out, I may be a while.

It's very straightforward - Hs are at risk of going extinct, and need to be saved.

 

Around here, most people drop them - 'ouse, 'Arry, 'effelump, 'artlepool. Except, ironically, from the name of the letter: HAITCH.

 

Incidentally, that should be Hinspector Morse.


So we need to rescue them and attach to suitable habitats, such as the word 'egg'.


Which now becomes HEGG.


Simple, and you will earn the undying appreciation of Natural England, Scrabble Users - an H worth 8 points because of rarity is unconscionable, and the Ghost of my late mother. 

 

As it happens, my tea tonight is a hostrich steak.

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1 hour ago, Ferdinand said:

As it happens, my tea tonight is a hostrich steak.

Just having Horlicks for mine, after a hot shower, just hope I don't have horrible dreams, but will wake up at home, so no harm done.

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7 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Just having Horlicks for mine, after a hot shower, just hope I don't have horrible dreams, but will wake up at home, so no harm done.

 

I do not think I am up to a scrambled hegg from a hostrich ...

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7 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

I don't understand why in 2019/2022 English Nature are taking such heavy notice of a 2018 ECJ ruling centering on a legal action about a development in the Netherlands from even further back. Does the ECJ have competence over our planning law? Is this classic bureaucrat gold-plating?

 

This bit suggests it's part of the Brexit agreement?...

 

20 hours ago, bob the builder 2 said:

The tests of the 2019 Habitats Regulations (EU exit amendment) are a high bar to pass...

 

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13 hours ago, Temp said:

 

This bit suggests it's part of the Brexit agreement?...

 

 

 

I can't call it; I'd love to see a piece by a senior planning professional. Boiling it down to the core after my brief excursion into language, and trying to provide a useful summary:

 

Is this a leftover from all the  EU law being read across into UK law in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (I think it is that one; there are about 3 or 4 similar acts.)

Is it English Nature being too precautionary?

Are LPAs listening to English Nature too much?

 

The LPA response has been to ignore it if deemed n/a, stop apps if they think a big issue, or require a "prove Nitrate Neutrality" report.

 

Possible responses are:

 

Keep it all onsite (eg etc), as many of us do.

Develop high nitrate ground, which makes a net loss easier to demonstrate.

Appeal, perhaps for non-determination of they try to freeze it.

Argue that the nitrate issue should trigger draining to the main sewer "last resort".

Argue that a single-self build is de minimis.

 

I am sure there are other options.

 

F

 

 

 

 

 

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On 16/04/2022 at 00:08, bob the builder 2 said:

Dear Build Hub Members

 

As many of you will be in the process of considering plots, preparing planning, or like us waiting for an approval, the enclosed news may be (i am afraid) very bad news if you are living in one of the 74 local planning authorities which received the enclosed guidance from Natural England on 16th March 2022.

 

The report below provides a lengthy but complete overview of the situation which in short means that if you are planning a new build which increases the amount of nitrate your application will at best be delayed by several months and if approved come with a significant additional tax to mitigate the new nitrates. (in the Solent the average house requires x2 credits costing c£25k)

 

Whilst i hope not many of the forum members will be impacted those of you who are may find this a valuable source of information and perhaps (cold) comfort that you are not alone in the madness of the UK planning system  

 

Bob

 

----------------------------- England planning news, April 2022 (lichfields.uk) --------------------

 

Further Natural England advice leads to more housing and leisure decision delays

Natural England advice setting out requirements relating to Habitats Regulation Assessment of protected sites can have the effect of preventing certain planning decisions being made. Protected sites include Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites.
 
While the issuing of such advice is not new, advice has been issued to 74 local planning authorities at the same time, 42 of which had not received Natural England advice on this matter in the past.
 
 
Written Ministerial Statement
This follows a written ministerial statement from the Environment Secretary on 16 March 2022:
 
"Many of our most internationally important water bodies are designated as protected sites under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. Under the Habitats Regulations, competent authorities, such as local planning authorities and the Environment Agency, must assess the environmental impact of planning applications or local plans. As a result of these regulations and European case law, Natural England has advised that in areas where protected sites are in ‘unfavourable condition’ due to nutrient pollution, Local Planning Authorities can only approve a project if they are certain it will have no negative effect on the protected site.
 
"Following further work to understand the sources of site deterioration, Natural England has today issued updated advice and support to the 32 Local Planning Authorities currently affected by nutrient pollution, as well as 42 new LPAs. So far this approach has too often been complex, time-consuming and costly to apply, and government is clear that action is needed to make sure that we both deliver the homes communities need and address pollution at source."
 
The statement goes on to explain that Natural England has devised “a ‘nutrient calculator’ to enable development to take place in a sustainable way” and that £100,000 grants are available to each affected catchment “to support cross-Local Authority work to meet Natural England requirements and enable development to continue”.
 
The written ministerial statement concludes by saying that legislation to further strengthen requirements to reduce nutrients at source will be brought into force.
 
 
Natural England advice letter
On the same day Natural England issued a 25 page advice letter to the affected authorities. According to a subsequent letter from the Leader of Havant Council to the Levelling Up Secretary and the Housing Minister, the letter was issued with no prior warning.
 
Tables setting out the affected LPAs are included within Annex C of the letter. Table 1 shows “Existing sites in unfavourable condition due to excessive nutrients which require a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and where nutrient neutrality is being deployed as mitigation”. It identifies the habitats site and catchment, the LPAs affected within that catchment, the type of nutrient to which the advice applies and provides a summary of the development types affected by the advice. The table also shows whether there is Nutrient Neutrality Methodology and Calculator produced by Natural England or LPA. However, there is a footnote stating “Nutrient neutrality calculators have been provided for all the catchments listed above, even where there is an existing nutrient neutrality calculator”. So even where nutrient neutrality calculators were in place, Natural England has made changes that are likely to make mitigation more difficult. Some of these LPAs have received new advice regarding other catchments too.
 
Table 2 of Annex C is a list of “Additional habitats sites in unfavourable condition due to excessive nutrients which require a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and where nutrient neutrality is a potential solution to enable development to proceed”. This table simply identifies the habitats site and catchment and the LPAs affected within that catchment and the type of nutrient to which the advice applies. These are the LPAs that have previously not been issued with advice.
 
The advice letter affects proposed developments for all types of overnight accommodation including new homes, student accommodation, care homes, tourism attractions and tourist accommodation and permitted development for new overnight accommodation.
 
 
Chief Planner letter
A letter from the Chief Planner to the affected LPAs said:
 
"For planning applications in the affected areas, this means you need to consider the possibility of adverse effects, as a result of additional nutrient loads (including from residential developments); as part of a Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA).
 
"In practical terms, this means that before granting any new permissions following the receipt of the Natural England advice, you will need to be confident that the development in question does not require nutrient neutrality to be acceptable under the regulations or that nutrient neutrality is secured, as part of the proposal. […]
 
"I appreciate that this will have an immediate impact on planning applications and appeals in affected areas. There may be a need to reconsider the acceptability of current proposals, in light of the advice issued. […]
 
"We recognise that in the newly affected areas, it is unlikely for there to be mitigation solutions in-place or readily available and so the ability for development to be made acceptable will be necessarily limited in the short term. As we have seen in catchments already affected by similar advice, it may take time for applicants to secure mitigation to be able to demonstrate neutrality”.
 
 
More than a development industry matter
A Natural England blog, published on 18 March acknowledges:
 
“The sources of excess nutrients include sewage treatment works, septic tanks, livestock, arable farming and industrial processes. These are long-running issues spanning decades and will be complex to resolve”.
 
It continues:
 
“The best we can do in the short term is to stop the situation getting worse which is why we have developed a neutral approach to nutrients. This isn’t legalistically driven, it’s an environmental imperative that the regulatory safety net has caught. In the long term we need to work in partnership across catchments and sectors to enact Environment Act targets of reducing nutrient pollution in water by reducing phosphorus loading from treated wastewater by 80 per cent by 2037 and reducing nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment from agriculture to the water environment by 40 per cent by 2037”.
 
 
Comment
Harry Bennett’s Lichfields Planning Matters blog considers the impact of the Natural England nutrient neutrality advice on the requirement for LPAs to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply of deliverable sites, with reference to a recent appeal decision. This is the first in a series of Lichfields blogs on the matter – you can subscribe at the end of any blog page.
 
For an insightful discussion on the broader and legal implications of the latest Natural England advice we recommend the Clubhouse sessions convened by Simon Ricketts of Town Legal “More Natural England development bans : what to do?” and also Simon’s blogs.
 
Water neutrality
In addition to nutrient neutrality, there are existing requirements to be water neutral in parts of North Sussex within that fall within parts of Crawley, Arun, Chichester and Horsham LPAs. A position statement with an interim approach having been issued by Natural England in September 2021.
 
Strategic solutions for recreational pressure
And on 14 March 2022, Natural England issued advice to Buckinghamshire Council (Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Districts), Central Bedfordshire Council, Dacorum Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, and Hertfordshire County Council. The advice is in respect of concerns about recreational pressure on Ashridge Commons and Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and says that a strategic solution to that pressure is required.
 
“Natural England understand that Strategic Solutions can be a time consuming process, and will lead to a period of time where strategic-level mitigation hasn’t yet been identified. During this period we advise that HRAs will be needed, detailing how each individual site is going to avoid adverse impacts on the integrity of the Chilterns Beechwoods SAC. This is for all planning applications that result in a net increase in dwellings, within the entire 500m – 12.6km ZOI”.
 
The advice also refers to around 20 existing Strategic Solutions nationally and notes:
 
“The tests of the 2019 Habitats Regulations (EU exit amendment) are a high bar to pass for any individual planning application. In essence each application would need to prove that in itself it wouldn’t harm the SAC either alone or in combination with all other planning applications in the ZOI”.
 

Natural England Advice for development proposals with the potential to affect water quality resulting in adverse nutrient impacts on habitats sites, uploaded by Cornwall Council, 16 March 2022

Lichfields Planning Matters, Nutrient Neutrality – A housing supply headache

Natural England advice regarding recreational impacts upon Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the need for a Mitigation Strategy, uploaded by Dacorum Council

Natural England’s Position Statement for Applications within the Sussex North Water Supply Zone, September 2021 – Interim Approach, uploaded by Chichester Council

Map of the Sussex North Water Supply Zone, uploaded by Horsham Council

 

impacted areas.png

Not a word about his seen on the Isle of Wight!!!

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9 hours ago, Chanmenie said:

I’m affected by this, my planning was approved but I cant go above slab level because I can’t get the drainage plan condition discharged.

 

feeling pretty pissed 

 

So have they basically vetoed any new connection to the sewerage system?

 

 

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In the letter here...

https://www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/media/7687/letter-from-ne-water-quality-and-nutrient-neutrality-advice.pdf

 

it says..

 

Quote

Suitable mitigation measures might include constructed wetlands, land use change or retrofitting of Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs).

 

Is it as "simple" as providing a storm surge attenuation system? 

 

If it has to be done at the sewerage works perhaps thus is something the CIL should address? After all its meant to fund new infrastructure.

Edited by Temp
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1 hour ago, Temp said:

perhaps thus is something the CIL should address? After all its meant to fund new infrastructure

I think Cornwall's CIL goes to pay for the pension deficit of £300m (ish).  £400/m2 in Zone One down here.

Wish I could charge builders to pay the deficit in my pension, with the threat that if they fail to pay I have their homes.

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Causing us a problem in East Kent.

 

All the councils in the Stour Valley catchment area seem to have been caught out by NE’s change to the acceptable levels of phosphates (generally from farm fertilizers) & nitrates (from sewage) in the watercourse and are scrambling to come up with a policy to address the issue.

 

The current plan seems to be for the council to convert some of their land to wetlands and then create some sort of offset credit system, but until they do, everybody’s applications are on hold, unless you can show ‘nitrate neutrality’. Of course, a system to purchase offsite credits also raises the questions of how much they will cost, how many will be available and how they will be allocated, and I fear that the self-builder will end up at the bottom of the pecking order.  

 

At the moment it seems the only way to achieve consent is to incorporate a wetlands area, which needs to be at least 2 hectares in size to be effective (so not much help for most sites) or to take agricultural land out of production in order to offset the nitrates of your development (hence larger developers buying up & ‘closing down’ arable farmland). The council also tell us that on-site treatment plants don’t help as the outflow always eventually reaches the water course.

 

The nett result for me is that the outline application for 4 x self-build plots that I submitted in March last year remains on hold, with no resolution in sight. What I also can’t work out is how I can be expected to produce nitrate calculations on an outline application where no house plans are specified, and why they can’t provide outline consent with the nitrate issue left as a reserved matter, based on the final design of the houses.

 

And, of course, no one is addressing the elephant in the room which is the Southern Water Authority preferring to pay £90m fines for polluting the rivers rather than spend money upgrading their sewage treatment plants!

 

If anyone has any suggestions on how to best deal with this problem, I‘d be glad to hear your ideas.

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