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Nutrient Neutrality

Protecting vulnerable rivers, lakes and water bodies, securing the sustainable homes and healthy nature that make attractive places for people to live.

Working with our partners in planning, development, water and land management to limit nutrient pollution during the creation of new communities.

Nutrient pollution is now a major environmental issue for many of the UK’s most important places for nature through increased levels of nutrients, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus. It's disruptive to natural processes and impacting wildlife.

These are long-running and complex issues that need resolving due to their rapid emerging nature. Our water environment team is at the forefront of designing engineering solutions which help planning authorities, Natural England, water authorities and developers implement nutrient neutrality effectively.

Mitigation measures can involve the creation of new wetlands, woodland or grasslands which provide new spaces for nature and recreation.

Other ways forward include installing environmentally-friendly sustainable drainage systems, collectively known as SuDS. Alternative solutions include on-site treatment to maximise efficiencies.

Features and benefits of our service include:

  • Integrated environmentally-friendly and sustainable solutions.
  • Option studies for reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus contribution.
  • Comprehensive drainage and wastewater management plans.
  • Wide-ranging skills spanning advisory and specialist technical ability.
  • Experts in the design of SuDS.
  • Strong relationship with providers of proprietary treatment facilities.

Overcoming the “nutrient crisis” to help unlock land development

Excessive nutrients are damaging our water ecosystems. In response, Natural England instructed local authorities in civic areas not to grant planning permission unless new developments can demonstrate nutrient neutrality to the water authorities and the LPA.

The nutrient neutrality issue is complex. It often requires collaboration with multiple stakeholders and bespoke, site-specific solutions.

Initially affecting new development in the Solent catchment on the south coast, the issue has quickly spread across the UK with over 74 local planning authorities currently being told by Natural England that development would increase nutrient levels.

We’re able to draw on our knowledge of flood mitigation, drainage infrastructure and environmental impact to help you develop nutrient management strategies.

Our expertise

We're managing the effects of climate change and understanding the vulnerabilities across the built environment, unlocking long-term value and creating safe, flourishing communities.

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We’re dedicated to increasing resilience and reducing flood risk across communities by guiding secure and sustainable development.

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We’re empowering optimised climate-resilient development by providing reliable simulation models backed up with in-depth knowledge of engineering water solutions.

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We’re addressing the impacts of climate change and flood risk on our developments, by harnessing the benefits of sustainable drainage systems as a real-world environmental solution.

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We’re safeguarding perhaps the most important resource in the world by looking at a developments impact on the local water cycle.

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