Natural England, the organisation tasked with protecting biodiversity and ecosytems in England, is trying to protect freshwater rivers and lakes that are currently in good condition with low levels of nutrients. Regulations protect four water catchments in the Lake District, which means that new developments must not add any extra nutrients, in particular phosphates, to these catchments. If a development will increase nutrient levels, for example by adding new houses to the area, it must have a way of removing the same amount of nutrients from somewhere else in that catchment. This is called nutrient neutrality.
The catchment areas that now need nutrient neutrality information to be included with planning applications are;
Nutrient neutrality information is required before a planning application is validated where the proposed development is within one of the catchment areas above and the scheme is for:
Where such developments would be served by mains, package treatment plant, septic tank or cess pool sewerage.
Nutrient neutrality information must include:
This validation requirement does not apply to:
For some applications nutrient neutrality information is not required as part of a valid application, we may still require nutrient neutrality information during the application process, or refuse planning permission in the absence of nutrient neutrality information for developments of the types listed above following case by case assessment.
Letter from the Chief Planner from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to all planning authorities affected on 16 March 2022.
River Derwent and Bassenthwaite Lake -
Supported by Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Lake District National Park Authority and Carlisle City Council are working with Natural England, the Environment Agency, Cumbria County Council and other partners and local planning authorities to identify and promote strategic mitigation options and solutions across affected Cumbrian catchments. This will support the delivery of Cumbrian Authorities’ spatial strategies, and enable the unlocking of existing planning applications and future proposals (particularly in respect of housing and tourism provision) without unacceptable impact upon nature conservation interests.
This work will:
The project will run alongside Natural England's strategic mitigation project over a two year period.
We are not currently advertising any jobs.
The invitation to tender has now closed. We hope to have the Nutrient Mitigation Solutions Report publicly available in Summer 2023.