Our thoughts on Nutrient Neutrality
FiveRivers are disappointed that today (Wednesday 13th September 2023) the House of Lords will vote on the Government’s proposed changes to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (LURB).
The proposed amendments to nutrient neutrality, with the removal of environmental protections, will reduce the level of responsibility held by house builders in offsetting the pollution caused by their developments.
There are alternative approaches that could be considered, over the amendments proposed, which include clearing the back log of planning applications and speeding up future planning application approval processes, which includes early consideration for mitigation measures required with early contractor involvement. The fast tracking and agreed methodologies of approving mitigation credits would support in clearing the housing back log as well as providing future resilience to mitigating nutrient pollution at planning stage.
FiveRivers are one of many solution providers currently offering mitigation to attain nutrient neutrality to unlock housing for developers. As part of this network, our mitigation schemes will provide a proportion of the mitigation required for the 72,000 homes that have been or will soon be offset.
The additional funding that has been provisionally allocated by the government is unlikely to provide a sufficient level of mitigation, given that the majority of watercourses in the UK are threatened by high levels of nutrient pollution from urban and agricultural areas.
This government led departure from the Habitat Regulations will significantly impact FiveRivers’ vision of delivering nature-based solutions; including wetlands, and river projects to mitigate the impact of nutrients in the watercourses we are striving to clean up and restore to ensure the long-term health and resilience of our rivers.
We hope that whichever way this vote goes, improving our national ecosystems is still a top priority. We await in anticipation.
FiveRivers is a leading industry specialist in the monitoring, consultation, design, and delivery of ecological and environmental nature-based solutions. With over 25 years’ working with nature, our expertise encompasses terrestrial and aquatic habitats with a specific passion for rivers and wetlands.
Our services deliver environmental protection, enhancement and restoration through environmental and ecological monitoring. ecological mitigation and habitat improvement. and A specialist of choice, FiveRivers delivers innovative, sensitive, and leading solutions across all sectors.
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