• Published: 18th Sep 23
  • Category: News

The Government have pledged to overturn EU laws through an amendment to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill.

This additional bureaucracy has caused delays to the  building of new homes where nutrients may enter water sources. Nutrients that come from large scale developments including water run off from general construction, and waste water and sewerage from new housing developments can be harmful if they find their way into waterways. In particular, phosphates and nitrates can reduce the quality of the water, damage wildlife and ecosystems.

Currently housebuilders are unable to build on land in certain locations across the UK, unless they can demonstrate to the Local Authority that the project will be ‘nutrient neutral’. Somerset is one of the affected areas.

Developers have long argued that building homes contribute only a tiny fraction of wastewater into rivers and streams. By removing this restriction, it is estimated an additional 100,000 homes can be built by 2030 on land near waterways.

In addition the Government has pledged to provide £280 million to Natural England for them to expand their Nutrient Mitigation Scheme. This additional funding along with the amendment to current laws will unlock land on which to build.

This will bring much needed stock to the property market providing more homes in Somerset at a time when new homes are desperately needed. Landlords will see an opportunity here to increase their portfolios by adding energy efficient homes. Those landlords with smaller plots of land affected may now be able to develop under Build to Rent schemes.

It is estimated that as a result of these changes, an additional £18 billion of economic activity will be generated.

The bill will shortly enter its final stages in the House of Lords, and the government is aiming to secure Royal Assent before the King’s Speech on 7 November 2023.

For more information on this topic you can read the Government press release here




Please note the date this article was published as the law or the essence may have changed since it was posted. You should always seek independent legal advice if you are intending to rely on any of the contents. Unless stated otherwise this article only reflects the position for the Private Rented Sector in England and therefore may not apply to other countries within the United Kingdom. 



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