Nutrient neutrality - developer FAQs

Below is a selection of frequently asked questions and their answers which hopefull you will find useful.

Does Havant Borough Council already own the land or is it buying the freehold for this project?

The Council has owned the freehold of the land for some time, leased to a tenant farmer. On 3 June 2020, the Cabinet approved a surrender and re-gear of this lease, which was for the sole purpose of implementing this project.

Why is HBC setting up a nature reserve?

The council is establishing a nature reserve to maintain nutrient levels which affect our coastline. It also gives us an opportunity to realise other environmental benefits as well, including to the valuable bird species which use our harbours.

Our coastline is internationally protected and as its guardians we have created a resource to help protect it.

What are nutrients and what do they do?

Nutrients come from a variety of sources such as agriculture and housing. Excessive levels damage our coastline and harm wildlife.

Watch our animated beginners guide for a better understanding of nutrient neutrality.

Why are developers being unfairly taxed by HBC?

Because of international law, particularly recent case law, the Council has not been able to lawfully permit a number of current planning applications.

The council has offered a clear solution to not only unlock barriers to development, but to provide it in an affordable, easy-to-access package for developers.

Isn't this just an excuse to build more?

It is not an excuse - the borough needs new homes and Government stipulate that plans are made to meet the need for housing.

The solution the council has provided means housing can be provided to meet the changing needs of our population without additional burden on our coastline.

It is primarily for small and medium sized builders that typically build out small sites in built up areas together with the council’s regeneration projects, focussed on our town centres.

Greenfield sites are usually ‘nutrient neutral’ already and do not need mitigation.

How do you know the site will become a nature haven?

Over time, the site will be carefully stewarded to ensure it offers the best possible opportunity for flora and fauna. This will happen over a number of years though.

The approach can be referred to as rewilding - and central government is currently working through an environment bill which endorses such an approach on a national scale.

The council is ahead of the curve in its approach.

What birds will use it?

Our coastline is a haven to a range of birds which rely on it as a food source. More detail about species that use our coastline can be found on the Bird Aware website.

Why is this coastline internationally protected?

A number of the birds that rely on our coastline for food are internationally protected.

A great explanation about what makes the Solent coastline so special can be found on the Bird Aware website.

How can HBC afford to run this site?

The nature reserve will be run at no cost to the council or its residents.

Developers will pay in perpetuity for the upkeep of the site.