Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Fewer homes planned amid Solent nitrates water pollution fears

algae near Portchester Image copyright Ian Knight
Image caption Natural England said high levels of nitrogen pollution were affecting The Solent area

The number of planning applications for homes in part of Hampshire has fallen amid concerns about nitrate pollution in The Solent, a councillor says.

Nick Adams-King, deputy leader of Test Valley Borough Council, said the authority had only received a couple of big applications since August.

He said the council would usually expect to receive two or three a week.

A number of Hampshire authorities have been advised to refuse new developments that are not "nitrate neutral".

Test Valley is one of the councils that have put planning applications on hold following the non-binding advice from Natural England, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Councils around The Solent are working with Natural England, Southern Water and the Environment Agency to stop nitrogen from housing wastewater and agricultural sources accelerating the growth of algae and damaging protected wildlife habitats.

Mr Adams-King, who is also lead member for planning, said: "The applications for the big developments are not coming in for this issue.

"Usually there could be two or three a week and they could range from a few houses to dozens of houses but they have not been on the list because of the nitrate issue.

"We're hopeful of a resolution soon but I can't hold out any magic wand solution for the problem, I'm afraid."

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