Somerset Council has secured £9.6m of Government funding to deliver phosphate mitigation measures which will unlock the delivery of new homes across the area and provide for long term nature recovery.
The award comes after the Council working in partnership with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), Plymouth University, Salinity Solutions, and Dorset Council, submitted a bid to the Government’s Nutrient Mitigation Fund.
The funding announced today (19 December) will be used to expand the Council’s existing phosphate credit scheme and deliver both interim and long-term phosphate mitigation measures including the use of new energy efficient water processing technology trialled at the Fivehead Wastewater Treatment Works near Taunton earlier this year.
Cllr Ros Wyke, Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning, and Assets, said:
I am delighted that we’ve been successful in our bid for this much needed funding thanks to the hard work and determination of our officers and partners.
Somerset Council has been leading the way in efforts to the address the issue of nutrient neutrality which is affecting local authorities across the country; from introducing phosphate credit schemes and phosphate calculators to trialling innovative technical solutions.
We are keen to progress our work using this funding to help unlock the backlog of housing applications in Somerset and enable developers, from small local firms to the national players, to build the houses we need – supporting development and growth in our local economy.
Somerset Council has been building on the work begun by the former Somerset County Council and the four district councils (Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip, South Somerset, and Sedgemoor) which had been working together to minimise delay and uncertainty around planning applications since receiving advice from Natural England about the requirement to mitigate against high levels of phosphates in the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar Site in 2020, and the River Axe Special Area of Conservation in 2022.
Further information on the requirement and Somerset Council’s work can be found on our website – Phosphates (somerset.gov.uk)