The mitigation solution is to protect The Solent
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Fareham Borough Council has set out its approach for ensuring any new housing is ‘nitrogen neutral’ and does not harm the Solent. The interim solution, which was signed off by the Council’s Executive at last night’s meeting, is a way for the Council to help bring forward some housing in the short term whilst a longer-term solution is being worked on.
The approach is for the Council to develop a series of measures designed to reduce nitrates sufficiently to offset the scale of development, both for a number of current planning applications and the emerging Local Plan. In the meantime, the Council still has a duty to deliver houses and will issue permissions with conditions that any new homes built cannot be occupied until appropriate mitigation has been agreed.
This situation is not unique to Fareham. Updated advice issued by Natural England earlier this year is affecting all councils in South Hampshire because of their proximity to The Solent which has a number of internationally important sites.
Where an increase in nitrates (which can be the result of increased amounts of wastewater from new dwellings) in The Solent cannot be ruled out as a result of new residential development, the Council must assess the effects in detail and, if necessary, address through mitigation.
Cllr Seán Woodward, Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘Whilst our number one priority is of course to protect The Solent, the nitrates issue continues to be a real challenge. One side of Government is telling us that any new housing will be damaging to the environment whilst another is demanding delivery of thousands of new homes.”
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