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Phosphates and planning permission

There is currently an issue with high levels of phosphates and nitrates in the Somerset Levels and Moors Catchment Area. This is harmful to biodiversity in the area and it is necessary to mitigate any adverse impact where possible.


What this means for planning is that any applications for new residential development (including tourist accommodation) is that you may need to provide mitigation. This would be either by providing on-site mitigation or by contributing financially to off-site mitigation.


The situation in Somerset is serious and the situation is developing. Greatly simplified, the current situation is that small proposals which cannot connect to a mains sewer may have a route to permission with a suitable drainage plan and where a number of criteria are met. Sites that will connect to mains are likely to be significantly delayed until a county-wide mitigation strategy is decided. This may take a further 9-12 months.


This issue is also affected many other parts of the country.


If your plans are affected by this issue in Somerset or elsewhere, do contact us as we may be able to help.

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