Agenda

Special, Cabinet
Friday, 23rd August, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Executive Meeting Room - The Guildhall - Floor 3

Contact: Joanne Wildsmith, Democratic Services Tel 9283 4057  Email: joanne.wildsmith@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Declarations of Interests

3.

Nitrate Neutrality Mitigation - measures to enable new housing development pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Purpose.

1.    The purpose of this report is to inform Cabinet of the progress made to address the damage being caused by high levels of water-borne nitrates to ecologically significant sites in the Solent.  This has been restricting the ability of local planning authorities in the Solent area to approve planning applications for new dwellings.

 

2.    A 'nitrate neutrality' mitigation strategy is proposed to enable both PCC and private development proposals.  This strategy will help the Council meet the tests of the Habitat Regulations and avert the potential risk of legal challenge.

 

3.    Additionally, the report gives an update on progress made with the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH) to develop a sub-regional, long term strategy to address the sources of nitrate pollution in the Solent with central government agencies. With this in mind, the Council is invited to work with neighbouring local authorities to intensify lobbying to resolve the apparent contradictory positions within and between central government departments.

 

 

Recommendations

 

The Cabinet is recommended to:

1.    Note the progress and on-going work set out in the report.

2.    Note the on-going improvements being undertaken to the Council's assets and particularly the  council housing stock that is improving water efficiency and contributing to reducing nitrate emissions

3.    Note the measures being taken through the Council's management of its open spaces to reduce nitrate application and nutrient emissions

4.    Note the dialogue between the Council, the University of Portsmouth, and Natural England to support the introduction of environmentally friendly measures to reduce nutrient build-up in the Solent.

5.    Note the dialogue between water supply and treatment companies, registered social landlords, developers and public bodies to establish a strategic partnership to reduce water consumption and nutrient emissions within the area.

6.    Note the intention to create and manage a database of contributions to mitigation to offset the potential impact of new development, such creation subject to final Cabinet approval.

7.    Note an intention to adopt as soon as possible the combination of measures, methodology and evidence set out in the report as the Council's interim strategy for demonstrating 'nitrate neutrality' in the determination of planning applications such adoption subject to final Cabinet approval.

8.    Continue to work with other local councils through PfSH, the Local Government Association and Members of Parliament to lobby central government to resolve the contradictory positions held by agencies within Defra and between Defra and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and to develop a comprehensive, long-term, funded mitigation strategy for the Solent area.