Housing development in the Solent region left high and dry

 

Across the Solent region, planned new development is being held up as the issue of ‘nitrate neutrality’ tops the agenda for local councils.

According to the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH), an estimated 4,500 dwellings have not received planning consent because they cannot confirm nitrate neutrality, and the backlog is growing.

Last year the European Court heard a test case, the ‘Dutch Case’, about the interpretation of the Habitat’s Directive.  As a direct result of the case, Natural England recognised the importance of the Habitat’s Directive and the issue of nitrate neutrality became an immediate and important issue for local authorities in the Solent region.

Natural England’s marine mission

Natural England gave the planning authorities across the Solent instructions that deems that unless a development can be proven to be nitrate neutral, no planning consents will be legally granted unless the impact from a particular development can be appropriately assessed to determine whether the development is compliant with the legislation that protects the Solent Special Protection Area.

The Solent region’s water environment is one of the UK’s most important for wildlife and recognised as having international importance. It is protected under the Water Environment Regulations and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations, as well as national protection for many parts of the coastline and sea.

Marine biologists have been aware of how the Solent is being adversely affected by increased algae growth, created from excessive nitrogen and phosphates causing eutrophication. The forming of swathes of dense green algae are causing serious harm to the Solent’s marine life, protected habitats and bird species.

Delayed development will affect construction locally

The problem could delay development in the region. It is likely to have a significant potential impact on current and future housing delivery. The advice from Natural England applies to all sites which don’t have planning permission. This has implications for meeting local housing needs and on being able to maintain a five-year housing supply and meet government targets for delivery in the future.

The impact for the construction industry, particularly for small and medium sized developers, could be considerable. Given that currently the existing number of planning permission being granted is very low in the Solent, the situation is likely to delay the delivery of new homes for the next few years.

Farmland to greenfield

Some greenfield development can achieve neutrality through a change in land use from agricultural use which leads to increased nutrient emissions into the environment. The outcome for neutrality results depends on the type of former agricultural use, which determines the existing level of nutrients. For development on non-agricultural (particularly brownfield) land, it is generally not possible to provide mitigation as part of the proposed development. As a result, off-site specific or strategic mitigation solutions will be required.

Complex problem for local authorities

Achieving nitrate neutral development and the science involved is a complex issue, and uncertainty exists on the most effective answer. The unique nature in which the Solent’s waterbodies interact increases the complexity of the issue.

Some local authorities are adopting a plan over 12-18 months, creating suitable alternative greenspace (SANG) mechanisms and ‘nitrate credits’. Others are delaying granting any planning consents until they find an effective long term solution to ensure planning and development continue to move ahead.

Lobby government for action

In an effort to find a solution, developer consortiums have been set up and with the PfSH planning authorities are lobbying central government, working closely with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Southern Water.

So far no clear mitigation solutions have been identified which would enable a Solent-wide strategic approach to be put in place. As it stands, each of the local authorities within the PfSH region is taking different approaches to dealing with this situation. The next PfSH joint committee meeting is in December 2019, at which the committee will provide an update on the progress of the various assessments, investigations and joint reports.

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800

ba-

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator

.

Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.

Login

Not a member? Sign up for free

Housing development in the Solent region left high and dry

Example

By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.