Havant Borough Council says it can restart housebuilding

Havant says it is ‘open for business’ following a pause on house building in the borough.

By Toby Paine
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 9:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 9:39 pm

After Natural England announced updated guidance in March on nutrient pollution Havant Borough Council temporarily stopped processing housing applications.

Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can wash into marine and freshwater habitats from residential areas. Excessive pollution of these compounds can speed up the growth of aquatic vegetation and algae faster than the ecosystem can handle.

Natural England updated the guidance unannounced, saying each new development is measured against a ‘nutrient budget’ that needs to be offset.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Havant Borough Council says it can start housebuilding again Picture posed by model

The changes introduced different requirements as to how that budget is calculated - requiring the council to conduct further research.

Councillor Alex Rennie, leader of Havant Borough Council, said: ‘I'm delighted to see that the block to housing development in the borough has been removed, and grateful to council officers for their considerable work to achieve this goal.

‘The impact of the unannounced changes by Natural England created unwanted and unnecessary pressure on the council, developers and residents alike.

‘I look forward to more open dialogues in the future with Natural England to ensure we can develop housing in an effective and environmentally-aware manner.’

The council undertook an analysis of a nutrient mitigation scheme at Warblington Farm Nature Reserve which it says confirmed its ability to provide valuable mitigation.

The council is also working with the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire, the Local Government Association and other local authorities to ensure dialogues with Natural England remove the risk of unexpected changes to planning guidance.