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Potential Third Party Phosphate Mitigation Schemes in the Somerset Levels and Moors Catchment Area

There are various phosphate (P) credit schemes currently operating within the river catchment areas of the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar Site. The map below shows each of these river catchment areas.

P mitigation must be delivered on a catchment-by-catchment basis i.e. if your proposed development is in the River Brue catchment area, your P mitigation (e.g. credits) must also be in the River Brue catchment area.

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Catchment Area Map

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Somerset Council has prepared a list of potential P mitigation schemes operating in the River Brue, the River Parrett and the River Tone catchment areas. This can be found at the link below.

This list covers mitigation schemes operated by third parties. Somerset Council also has a council-led P-credit scheme in operation in the River Tone catchment area and more information on this is available Phosphate Credit Scheme page.

Please note the list of mitigation schemes within the link below is not exhaustive, it may not cover all P mitigation schemes in operation across Somerset. Somerset Council is not recommending any particular P mitigation scheme. Nor does the Council ‘accredit’ any particular P mitigation provider. The table simply lists potential schemes known to the Council and with appropriate processes in place with the Council to allow us to progress planning applications linked to these P-credits.
It is the responsibility of the developer/applicant to seek a phosphate mitigation solution to support their planning application as explained in the Nutrient Neutrality: Guide for Applicants, available in the Nutrient Neutrality in Somerset Guidance document. P-credits from third-parties are acquired at the applicant’s own risk.

Table of potential mitigation schemes

If you are a third-party P-mitigation provider

If you are a third-party P-mitigation provider with a potential P-mitigation scheme within the Somerset Levels and Moors catchment area, we recommend early engagement with Somerset Council prior to P-credits be marketed. This is to ensure that appropriate processes are in place to allow the Council to able to progress planning applications linked to your third-party P-credits.

Please follow the following steps to process an overarching legal agreement with Somerset Council to allow the Local Planning Authority to accept your P-credits as phosphate mitigation.

  1. Obtain Natural England approval: We require confirmation from Natural England that proposed third-party P-mitigation schemes are acceptable. Please engage with Natural England through their Discretionary Advice Service prior to discussion with Somerset Council.
  2. Submission of technical details to Somerset Council: Submit a Phosphate Mitigation Statement setting out all of the technical details of your proposed scheme to SES@somerset.gov.uk and phosphates@somerset.gov.uk for the Council’s review. This should include confirmation of Natural England’s approval of the scheme.
  3. Commencement of legal process: If Somerset Council is able to technically approve the details of a proposed third-party P-mitigation scheme, the required legal process to agree an ‘overarching’ legal agreement to agree the process for P-credit allocation with Somerset Council. Prospective third-party P-mitigation providers must provide Solicitor details to manage this process.

Please note, Somerset Council is also launching a ‘call for sites’ seeking submission of land promoted for the delivery of phosphate mitigation schemes. For more information on this, please see our environmental call for sites page.

If you require any further information please email SES@somerset.gov.uk or phosphates@somerset.gov.uk.

Last reviewed: May 14, 2024 by Ian

Next review due: November 14, 2024

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