The Government has launched a pilot online ‘nitrate trading’ auction platform in south Hampshire and the Solent which it states will unlock housing growth in the area while reducing harmful nitrates and aiding wildlife recovery. If successful it could be extended to other areas in England.
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. Through the nitrate trading platform, housing developers will buy credits to create new habitats to prevent harmful levels of nitrates from new housing from reaching the Solent’s rare wildlife and habitats.
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper stated: ‘This innovative new scheme that Natural England has helped design will not only help nature’s recovery in the area, but also address the historic demand for new housing around the Solent’.
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the scheme will also inform the government’s wider work on market-based solutions to environmental issues – such as carbon offsetting, biodiversity net gain, water quality and flood risk management.
The nitrate trading platform pilot will be rolled out over the next two years and delivered jointly with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government; Natural England; and the Environment Agency.
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