Since 2019, concerns have been growing that Natural England’s solution to river pollution, nutrient neutrality, is stifling housebuilding during a period marked by a housing crisis. This recently came to a head when the government tried to scrap the rules through amendments to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – such is the gravity of the situation. However, this approach came tumbling down on 13 September 2023 when the House of Lords blocked the amendments.
So what is nutrient neutrality and where does this leave us now? We take a look at the key concepts, the main issues and (recent unsuccessful actions aside) how the government proposes to deal with these.