Nutrient Neutrality - an update on the planning position in Dorset

Published: 28/10/2022 By Andrew Tregay

Andrew Tregay, Head of Planning at Symonds & Sampson recently attended Dorset Council’s recent briefing to surveyors, updating the current situation relating to nutrient neutrality, and the steps taken to address the issue. A representative from Natural England was also present to give a brief update on their work. 

Andrew summarises the key points:

  • Once the latest ‘Levelling Up’ Bill is enacted (expected April 2023), phosphate mitigation will no longer be required for new residential development (or any development generating overnight stays) in the Poole Harbour catchment. Nitrate mitigation will still be required, however, there is a dedicated mitigation strategy already in place to address this.
  • There are no clear timescales for a strategic Council or Government led solution (via Natural England) – such as a credit-based system. Research is underway and there are various projects in their infancy, however, there does not appear to be a clear strategy emerging yet. Much of the Council’s current workload is still establishing the extent of the individual catchments.
  • Some site-specific or bespoke solutions for smaller sites are being viewed favourably by Natural England especially those that will not be connecting to the mains foul system.
  • Some larger schemes have been granted however again these utilise very bespoke or site-specific solutions.
Speaking after the briefing, Andrew commented “Whilst phosphates and nutrient neutrality remain an issue for development across Dorset, Symonds & Sampson’s planning agents have successfully secured a number of residential schemes in the County and are well-versed at working with clients to find solutions and bringing residential schemes forward.”

Please contact Edward Dyke or Andrew Tregay on 01258 472244 for further details. Symonds & Sampson can provide planning advice for residential, rural and commercial property projects. Please do get in touch to discuss your requirements.