Guide Phosphates on the River Axe

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5. Draft River Axe phosphates mitigation strategy and policy

This page provides the most up to date information in terms of what EDDC are undertaking on nutrient neutrality. It is likely to be subject to change. Until formally updated all planning submissions must follow Natural England guidance and must use the most up to date nutrient budget calculator. This includes any pending or current planning applications.  

Draft solutions report 

East Devon District Council commissioned a draft solutions mitigation report for the River Axe SAC in 2023. A draft copy of the report and supporting bespoke nutrient budget calculator was finally provided in January 2024. The report is supported by a bespoke nutrient budget calculator for the River Axe catchment.  

The report was produced in part to support the development of the draft Local Plan to determine the levels of mitigation required to deliver the predicted level of growth for the next local plan period. The report and supporting calculator: 

  • estimate the phosphate loading from development  
  • the potential options that could be used to deliver nutrient mitigation 
  • advice on implementing them 

The solutions report and nutrient budget calculator are yet to be formally adopted. Until such time the bespoke nutrient budget calculator has been adopted, any planning submission must use the most up to date nutrient budget calculator published by Natural England. This includes any pending or current submissions.  

Phosphates mitigation strategy

EDDC recently submitted a bid to Local Nutrient Mitigation Fund – Round 2 which is administered by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC). 

The bid contains a funding request for a range of potential mitigation options such as constricted wetlands, riparian buffers, upgrades of septic tanks, and water saving measures for council houses within the catchment.  

The bid was not possible without collaborative input with other LPAs, the Planning Advice Service (PAS), and other key stakeholders. Officers are trying to progress stalled planning applications and consent development within the affected catchment but it is a complex subject and can be subject to change. 

There is currently no published date  when the council will be informed whether it is successful or otherwise with the bid. Any news will be posted on this page as and when available.