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Weakening nutrient neutrality rules ‘damaging and regressive’, we say

29th August 2023

Michael Gove has announced plans to scrap measures that ensure that water pollution from new builds is offset by developers.

Commenting on the plans, Paul Miner, Head of Campaigns and Policy at CPRE, said:

‘We recognise the need for new, affordable and energy efficient homes. But they should not be delivered at the expense of our natural environment.

‘Michael Gove’s plans to relax nutrient neutrality rules represent a huge threat to our waterways, a fundamental feature of our countryside as well as a vital wildlife habitat and vanguard against the extremes of climate change.

‘Net nutrient neutrality rules exist to prevent developers from cutting corners and to promote best practice. It’s a crucial measure that ensures that new homes are delivered in a way that doesn’t add to an already toxic maelstrom of environmental crises.

‘When measures like net nutrient neutrality cease to be statutory in planning, they’re invariably discarded by most developers, with taxpayers set to foot the environmental burden of new homes instead.

‘We need stronger enforcement of the rules over both the farming and housebuilding sectors. For the sake of our countryside and natural environment, we urge Michael Gove to rethink these damaging and regressive proposals.’

Towpath along the River Lea with moored canal boats
Rich Dyson / Alamy Stock Photo


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