District councils in areas where much-needed new homes have been blocked by nutrient neutrality rules are calling on peers to vote in favour of scrapping the restrictive practices.
The House of Lords votes this evening on a Government amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which would give councils the power to disapply the rules which have, according to the Home Builders Federation, delayed 120,000 new homes.
Leaders of councils in affected areas from a range of political parties support the amendment because their ability to build new affordable homes has been thwarted without there being any meaningful environmental benefit. For example, 10,000 new homes in Ashford (Kent) have been stalled while Eastleigh Borough Council has had to spend £20m addressing nutrient mitigation.
While the boost to housing from scrapping the rules is essential, the DCN recognises that environmental protection remains a vital priority for all.
We urge the Government to continue to work with local government around environmental policies, especially on tackling the major causes of nutrient pollution in our waterways and on holding water companies to account. Our rivers need to be cleaned – but we need to focus our efforts on doing this in a way which does not jeopardise so many people’s ability to live in safe and secure homes.