Barriers to residential development are removed following prompt council analysis

Monday, 16 May, 2022

Following extensive analysis, the pause on residential development in the borough has been lifted by Havant Borough Council. Following unexpected changes announced by Natural England in March regarding how nutrient neutrality is measured, the council was obliged to pause development until it could ensure the nutrient loads from new housing could be effectively offset. Due to the extensive work put in by the council, the borough is open for business once again, allowing growth as well as creating new development and employment opportunities as set out in the council’s Corporate Strategy.

Natural England introduced unannounced changes which updated how nutrients were assessed for new housing developments. Each new development is measured against a nutrient budget, and the unannounced changes introduced different requirements and required new research.

Havant Borough Council has undertaken an analysis of its award-winning nutrient mitigation scheme at Warblington Farm Nature Reserve and validated its continued capability to provide a valuable mitigation resource. Additionally, and in close consultation with the Partnership for South Hampshire, the Local Government Association and other local authorities, the council will actively address how to work with Natural England to ensure dialogues are in place to remove the risk of unexpected changes to guidance.

Councillor Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council, stated "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."

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