The latest post from Somerset West and Taunton Council states that all four of Somerset's District Councils have collectively appealed to the Government for assistance in managing the phosphate neutrality requirements directed to them by Natural England.
Natural England have advised the local authorities that they must undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) before determining planning applications that may give rise to release of additional phosphates in the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar site catchment area.
Where new developments are assessed to increase the release of phosphates, appropriate mitigation must be in place, before the Council's should approve the Planning Applications.
The current position places an effective moratorium on the determination of new Planning Applications for particular developments including those for housing and agriculture.
Somerset West and Taunton latest post estimates this has impacted 778 live planning applications and 11,000 new homes across Somerset.
Somerset's four district councils have written to the Government to warn of the effect on the delivery of new homes, and economic impact of the delay to building projects.
The Council has recruited additional ecological staff to assess the Habitats Regulations Assessments, and have requested additional funding from Government for the preparation and delivery of a Somerset-wide nutrient strategy, with the aim of presenting developers with clearer options as to how the appropriate mitigation may be achieved.
The Councils latest post on the subject is available on the link below:-
Council leaders seek Government support on phosphate requirements (somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk)
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