Council sets out plan to unlock homes in limbo after nitrates advice

A council that was forced to halt housebuilding by Natural England advice on nitrates has set out plans to unlock new homes by creating a new offset system under which credits will be awarded when existing homes are made more water efficient.

In June, a group of local authorities in south Hampshire - including Portsmouth City Council - were forced to stop granting planning permissions for new housing and tourism developments following updated legal advice from wildlife regulator Natural England. 

Natural England was concerned that sewage, generated as a result of new development, would harm the integrity of EU protected areas within the Solent. Nitrate enrichment can lead to eutrophication, whereby nitrate and phosphorus overloading encourages algae blooms that can starve a body of water of oxygen and kill aquatic species.

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