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Wiltshire Council secures funding to help reduce the environmental impact of new developments

Wiltshire Council has successfully been allocated almost £10m in funding as part of a government nutrient mitigation scheme to reduce the environmental impact of new developments in the Hampshire Avon river catchment.

Published 19 December 2023

The fund was set up to help Local Planning Authorities address the issue of nutrient neutrality, which is a means of ensuring a development project does not add to existing nutrient burdens within river catchments. Increased levels of nutrients in freshwater habitats can harm wildlife and cause habitat damage.

The funds will be used to help deliver further housing by installing mitigating projects that can reduce or eliminate pollution from nutrients. The council is looking at options to replenish the funding to deliver further mitigation to enable sustainable development, and then ultimately to help restore the river back to favourable condition.

The council is progressing a portfolio of projects including wetlands, woodland buffers, upgrading septic tanks and domestic sewerage systems, and water efficiency savings - all of which should contribute to development being carried out with less timely complications and in an environmentally responsible way.

The council has been awarded £9.8m for capital projects to help pump-prime nutrient neutrality mitigation in the Hampshire Avon catchment, as well as a further £100,000 to help with resources. As well as Wiltshire, the council has been awarded the fund on behalf of all the local authorities in the Hampshire Avon catchment - New Forest District Council, New Forest National Park Authority, Dorset Council, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, and Test Valley Borough Council- and will deliver projects to unlock housing in all those areas.

More information on how this money will be spent will be available in due course.

Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: This funding is much welcomed and should help ensure growth in a timely way, while protecting our environment. Wiltshire is a beautiful county with some vitally important chalk river habitats, and we must do everything we can to sustain while also recognising the need that we have nationally set house-building targets we need to meet.

This funding will allow us to ensure the infrastructure is in place to support houses being built without posing an environmental threat to our freshwater habitats.

The funding will help the council meet its commitments and aims as set out in its Business Plan, Climate strategy, and Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy. More information can be found at

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