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Angling Trust welcome U-turn on housebuilding pollution rules
The Angling Trust has welcomed the government U-turn, announced at the weekend, to drop plans to abolish planning rules that prevent housebuilding adding to the pollution of our rivers and streams. This followed last month’s defeat in the House of Lords which government had pledged to reverse.
In August, Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, announced the intention to ditch the ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules which meant that housebuilders cannot proceed with developments without offsetting any increase in nutrient loads. Ministers considered this a barrier to development while environmental and wildlife groups, including the Angling Trust, mounted a strong campaign for their retention.
Martin Salter, Angling Trust Head of Policy, said:
“Our rivers are in enough trouble as it is from sewage and agricultural pollution without the government weakening the few already inadequate legal protections they currently have. We are pleased that commonsense appears to have finally prevailed.”
The nutrient neutrality rules were put in place in 2017 and designed to reduce the impact of nutrients like phosphates and nitrates from damaging protected sites and polluting rivers and watercourses. Their retention means that local councils should not give the go-ahead to any new development that is projected to add to river nutrients, either through wastewater from new homes or run-off from building sites.