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A new trial in Hampshire aiming to reduce nitrate levels in the Solent has been welcomed by Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely.

The government-backed trial seeks to address the issue of nitrate pollution – caused in part by developers as they disturb nitrogen-rich soil. Nitrogen entering watercourses and ultimately the Solent is linked to the pollution of important marine sites and is an issue of long-standing concern for Bob and local environmental agencies.

Now, the new scheme should mitigate new pollution entering the Solent from housing developments by ensuring developers implement measures designed to remove, capture, or absorb nitrates prior them reaching the sea.

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The trial will also create a nutrient trading process where developers needing nitrogen mitigation solutions can connect online with land managers able to provide such solutions. Developers can also buy nitrogen credits to offset the nutrient footprint of new homes. These credits can then be used to create new habitats such as wetlands, meadows and woodland to help prevent harmful levels of nutrients reaching the Solent.

Last year Bob wrote to the Environment Secretary about the impact of uncontrolled large-scale housing developments on wildlife in rivers and marine locations around the Island. He said:

“I am pleased the Government is taking steps to alleviate the damage caused to wildlife, salt marshes and seagrass beds by excessive nitrate levels in the Solent.

“Our Marine Conservation Zones are there to safeguard special wildlife and habitats so we must look to protect them. Of course, there is another way to reduce nitrogen levels in watercourses and that is to stop unnecessary greenfield development. I am working to persuade the Government to change its approach to housing which currently requires vast numbers of houses to be built on greenfield sites across the country.”

Debbie Tann, CEO of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said:

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“Nitrate pollution in the Solent wreaks havoc with our vital marine ecosystems, suffocating the life out of our seas. This is a really critical issue and, until recently, every new house built simply added to the pressure.

“Now, thanks to Natural England and DEFRA, we are taking important steps towards addressing this problem – ensuring that houses can only be built if the nitrate impact is properly addressed.”

The nitrate trading platform pilot will be rolled out over the next 2 years and delivered jointly with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Karn Evil 9

get a life Tony.

Eve Shipman

Rubbish!! I’m all for charging developers for nitrate pollution,it might slow down or reduce the ridiculously-large developments that are planned. But 90% of nitrate pollution comes from excessive use of fertiliser by arable farmers.
Trying to improve their green credentials by attacking the wrong target.


If Bob is serious about ending green field sites being built upon, the he should press his party to end masse imm igration into the UK, for none arrive ‘with’ a home, and so they either take an existing one, or have to have homes built, either way then taking one from people already here.
We have more than enough people now to fill the fast vanishing jobs and we don’t want our small country built over for those who have a large planet to choose where to live upon

Bob Down

Trading nitrate credits???. Sounds like the sort of deal that might go like this, Wildlife charity buys a farm in the middle of the Island for a Million that has had very little nitrate requirement, and would have virtually zero nitrate run off into the Solent, then trades the nitrate credits for 2 Million to a mainland developer so he can build houses so far inland the tide would have to come in 20 miles to get any where near the Solent.
Surely this cant be how it works??


It could be more simpler than that, the trade could just be payments to which ever party is in power at the time.


Genuinely this is some strange garbage. Nitrogen cycle, is a natural cycle…
The amazon rain forrest been doing it for millions of years ! Wake up to this nonsense. Educate yourselfs on it and how are planet works.

Agree with Eve shipman, also the bigger problem is land fill spilling into the ocean , oil / fuel discharge from boats.
The issue with building isnt them shifting soil, its the poisons in some of the building materials, concrete comes to mind, hazardous!

They think were stupid…dont stand for it.


Another made up problem to generate another tax to line someone’s pocket .

Lady Longdown

Bandwagon Bob reckons this stuff sounds ‘on trend’ so, of course, he’s in on it. On message and all that guff. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. Sausage. That’s why your cousins have knighthoods and you don’t. A shame to see a long residing, elite family on Wight going this way. They say the best families put the eldest son in The Navy, the clever one in The Royal Air Force, the thicko (officers only, no offence!) in the Army, and the mad one in th Church of England. Thank God he ain’t a priest. That, however, would require a… Read more »

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