Housing developments halted over nitrate pollution concerns

Five councils have suspended granting planning permission near legally protected areas after Natural England said consents should not be granted unless developments are nitrate neutral

Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and East Hampshire councils, agreed to defer their decision-making process because of the nature regulator’s fears that any new developments in the Solent area would lead to increases in nitrate pollution as a result of increased nitrogen pollution from wastewater and sewage.

The Solent and Southampton Water special protection area (SPA) is protected by law under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. It is made up of estuaries, mud-flats and saltmarshes, together with adjacent coastal habitats including saline lagoons, shingle beaches, reedbeds, damp woodland and grazing marsh.

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