Further clarification on offsetting agricultural land to mitigate against increased nitrogen from wastewater from new housing in the Solent has been provided in a recent appeal decision which can be viewed here.
Adams Hendry assisted Fareham Borough Council in defending the appeal.
An advice note by Natural England “Achieving Nutrient Neutrality for New Development in the Solent Region” June 2020 sets out a methodology and measures to avoid and mitigate against likely effects on European Nature Conservation Sites in the Solent.
Natural England’s guidance covers the off-setting of additional nitrogen that would be generated by the development by taking agricultural land out of production in perpetuity. The Natural England guidance considers that evidence of past agricultural use covering a ten year period can be relied upon to mitigate against the increase in nitrogen.
The appeal proposal for 100 houses in Warsash, Fareham proposed to offset the assessed horticultural use of the appeal site and additional agricultural land out of production at another location within the Solent catchment in Stubbington, in order to mitigate the increase in nitrogen from the new housing.