Water: Pollution Control

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 11 September 2023.

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Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he is taking steps to help ensure that his proposals to reform the nutrient neutrality regime accommodate schemes already agreed with (a) Natural England and (b) local planning authorities.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The Government is acting to unblock 100,000 homes and to address the underlying sources of nutrient pollution. The Government has made £280 million funding available to Natural England to enable the current approach to mitigation schemes and associated credit markets to evolve

Under the new arrangements, Natural England, DEFRA, and DLUHC will work with local authorities and third parties to deliver strategic interventions which can reduce excess nutrients and support the recovery of protected sites. This will build on current mitigation schemes and engage with the future pipeline of potential schemes, across the public, private and conservation sectors.

Our ambition is to move as quickly as possible to ensure real world environmental benefits are secured alongside new housing delivery. This means establishing a strategic approach for catchments that offsets the limited nutrients outflow from new housing at the same time as starting to restore Habitats Sites which are in a poor condition due to excess nutrients.

The expertise of local authorities and Natural England will be hugely valuable in targeting interventions to the right places, thereby maximising benefits for water quality, people, and nature.

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