Nitrates crisis: ‘The planning system is effectively at a standstill’

Legal advice from Natural England has brought Hampshire housebuilding to a halt. But why exactly have the area’s authorities felt the need to effectively bring in a moratorium on new development? And what are the chances of the situation being resolved any time soon? Adam Branson investigates.

It is an issue that is causing more than a little local difficulty. Last month, it emerged that local authorities in south Hampshire had been forced to stop granting planning permissions for new housing and tourism developments due to the additional nitrate pollution such projects could cause in the Solent.

The move has prompted much gnashing of teeth among the local planning authorities affected, which fear that they will be penalised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for missed housing targets. Naturally enough, developers and housebuilders aren’t best pleased either.

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