Nitrates crisis: Why a council's move to end a housing freeze has left experts unconvinced

A south coast council has launched a first-of-a-kind nitrates banking solution that aims to end a housing freeze, but some argue the scheme has not resolved the problem. James Agyepong Parsons reports

When Natural England updated its legal advice requiring all residential planning applications  around the Solent to guarantee nitrate neutrality, it triggered a housing freeze across the south of Hampshire.

In June, the conservation regulator warned 11 local authorities that runoff from agriculture and treated wastewater is creating "dead zones," where excessive green algae growth starves parts of the Solent’s protected coastal waters of oxygen, damaging marine and bird life.

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