Nutrient neutrality rules may hit delivery at first, but they offer opportunity too

andrew watson savills

The government’s proposed expansion of nutrient neutrality rules may help councils, developers and landowners find nature-based solutions through planning, argues Andrew Watson

As planners our raison d’etre is to balance the social, economic and environmental aspects of development. It is the golden thread running through our profession. Nowhere has this come more to the fore than the current battle over nutrient pollution and the government’s aspiration to deliver 300,000 homes per year.

Housing delivery was over 80,000 short of that target in 2020/21, and government rules to deal with nutrient pollution are threatening that ambition even further. The government is proposing extending ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules that can be used to block planning consents.

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