Excessive nutrients (principally nitrogen and phosphates) in the Solent’s European Sites are causing eutrophication, leading to an increase in algae growth. This has an adverse impact on the habitats and species within the European nature conservation designations sites in and around the Solent (including the Solent and Southampton Water SPA) to which the Habitat Regulations apply.
Following recent case law, Natural England has advised that there is a likely significant effect on the Solent’s European sites due to the increase in wastewater from new housing. They have also advised that any development proposed through any planning application providing overnight accommodation which would discharge into the Solent would also be likely to cause a significant effect. There is uncertainty as to whether the increase in wastewater from new housing in the Solent’s catchment will have an adverse impact on the Solent’s European sites.
They recommend that the waste water issue is examined within the Appropriate Assessment process undertaken by the Authority.
For this reason, the Authority is requesting the submission of a Nitrate Mitigation Checklist for any planning application for a net increase in dwellings or providing overnight accommodation.
We have also published a map illustrating the respective water catchment treatment catchment areas for the National Park area to indicate the areas of the New Forest affected by the issue. This is available to download on the right hand side.