Phosphates: Pollution Control

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th September 2021.

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Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent progress the Government's task force on nutrient pollution has made on tackling phosphate pollution, including that which prevents local authorities from granting planning permission.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The task force on nutrient pollution meets every 4 to 6 weeks and brings together Defra, Natural England, Environment Agency and MHCLG to develop strategic solutions to the phosphate and wider nutrient pollution issues. We want to enable much needed development whilst at the same time protecting and enhancing the environment.

Environment Agency and Natural England are working in partnership to understand the causes of pollution within areas, and ways of addressing them. They report back regularly to the task force on progress.

Natural England has already developed several tools which enable local authorities to understand possible mitigations that can be put in place. Natural England works closely with affected local authorities to support them to develop workable solutions.

Planning Advisory Service have also organised a number of virtual “lessons learnt” events on nutrient pollution during July for local authority planners. Natural England, the Environment Agency and Defra attended and shared good practice.

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