How are councils addressing the south coast nitrates crisis?

Councils in south Hampshire have been grappling for several months with how to unlock planning applications for thousands of new homes that have fallen foul of Natural England advice on limiting nitrate pollution in the Solent area.

In light of a ruling in the European Court of Justice from November, the nature regulator advised a dozen local authorities that permission for new homes should not be granted unless they are ‘nitrate neutral’. 

With the planning system at a standstill, some councils in the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH) have put forward measures to get projects moving again. Portsmouth City Council set out plans in August for a new nitrates credit system that would allow developers to offset the impact of their projects. 

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