Guide Phosphates on the River Axe

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3. Government and Natural England advice

Letter from the Chief Planner

On 30 January 2024, the Chief Planner published a letter. It provides an update on designation of sensitive catchment areas and upgrades to wastewater treatment works. 

Guidance from Natural England

Natural England (NE) released a new national approach in March 2022.  It included tools and guidance on nutrients mitigation.  The guidance included:  

Natural England also published updated guidance in November 2022.  NECR459 Edition 1 Nutrient Neutrality Generic Methodology. 

In 2024, Natural England released a new calculator for completing a nutrient budget. You will need to re-run phosphate budget calculations for all pending planning applications. You can find full details on our Nutrient neutrality and planning applications webpage. 

Other releases in 2024 included the Nature Based Solutions as Nutrient Mitigation (NBS2024) technical reports. 

Related press releases 

Nutrient Mitigation Scheme 

The Government announced this scheme in July 2022.  It will allow swifter decisions to enable the building of homes.  NE is currently identifying places most likely to be suitable for nutrient mitigation provision.  They will invite selected landowners from December to offer land as potential sites.  All developers may use the scheme.  It will include credits offered in batches for which developers can apply.   

Currently, no sites in the Axe catchment are under consideration for the Nutrient Mitigation Scheme. As such, any development proposal must provide their own nutrient mitigation solution. 

You can find more details about the Natural England scheme to protect our waterways.