Many planning applications involving overnight stays (e.g. residential and tourism-related) are currently on hold due to the impact that nitrates are having on the internationally-protected Solent Special Protection Area. Local authorities are facing the challenge of allowing development to take place that is nitrate neutral.
To keep up to date with the very latest position on this hot topic, Emma Ralphs, planning graduate at Chapman Lily, attended a recent webinar to find out more.
In partnership with Natural England, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) has reached the advanced stages of a scheme that will use contributions from S106 to purchase high-intensive agricultural land (likely low grade) and convert this into woodland/meadow habitats. This will reduce the level of nitrates entering the Solent and mitigate the impacts of new development in the catchment. This scheme will be part of a suite of options available to developers to achieve nitrate neutrality and will likely be most attractive to small-scale developers and those wishing to develop brownfield sites.
The HIWWT is currently working with local authorities to produce a template legal agreement and applicants will have to submit expressions of interest once they have calculated their nitrate budget and know what level of mitigation they require.
Speaking after the event, Emma Ralphs commented that ‘this is encouraging and we hope that it will soon unlock many of the stalled developments in the Partnership for South Hampshire area. Unfortunately, the level of financial contribution is currently unclear, but we will continue to monitor progress and advise our clients as soon as we find out more’.
If you would like to find out about how this might affect you, please contact Chapman Lily Planning for more information.