Defra has today (11 September) announced £3.9 million to unlock housing growth in south Hampshire in a scheme that will reduce harmful nitrates and aid wildlife recovery.
Housing growth has stalled in the Solent area for over a year due to concerns that nitrates were causing a range of negative environmental effects. These include excessive growth of green algae which smothers and damages rare habitats and wildlife, including the Solent’s internationally protected estuaries, salt marshes and seagrass beds, as well as protected birds including curlews.
The government will invest £3.9 million in the first-of-its-kind project to set up an online ‘nitrate trading’ auction platform. Through this, housing developers will buy credits to create new habitats such as meadows, woodlands and wetlands – which will prevent harmful levels of nitrates from new housing from reaching the Solent’s rare wildlife and habitats. This will also provide more outside spaces as part of government ambitions for a green, nature-based recovery from coronavirus. MORE