Phosphates

    Building new homes in Somerset has been held up by the phosphates crisis, with developers needing to secure additional mitigation to prevent any increase in phosphates on the Somerset Levels

    Somerset Council has been awarded £9.6 million by the Department for Levelling-Up to spend on solutions to ease the crisis.

    Phosphates are found in agricultural fertiliser to human and animal waste and if present in watercourses can cause serious harm to fish and other wildlife.

    Somerset Council was issued with legal advice in August 2020 stating that no development could be approved without additional phosphate mitigation. Since then, planners and developers have been working to find solutions to prevent increases in phosphates. These included: creating new wetlands, following agricultural land, and upgrading waste-water treatment plants.

    In the River Parrett catchment, which includes South Somerset, building 4,500 homes are currently being held up. Of these, 435 had been approved before August 2020 with the applicants coming back for re-approval. A further 185 homes with mitigation on Tintinhull Road in Yeovil were approved before South Somerset District Council was abolished.
     

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