Development in the River Lugg catchment area

This is a statement of Herefordshire Council's current position on development within the River Lugg catchment, to provide up to date information to applicants and their agents on planning applications in the area.

The statements relate to recent advice to the council from Natural England, particularly concerning potential impacts of phosphates.

This is in response to the development of Habitats Regulations through European case law and its interpretation into English legislation by the statutory body, Natural England.

Herefordshire Council is committed to both playing its part in addressing the existing water quality and enabling sustainable growth.

Natural England first issued a letter to Herefordshire Council in July 2019 advising against reliance upon the Nutrient Management Plan to offset the phosphate load of development.

How this affects development in the River Lugg catchment

In order to sign off on a Habitat Regulations Assessment for development within the Lugg catchment you must demonstrate nutrient neutrality.

View a map showing the Lugg and Wye sub-catchment area in Herefordshire.

Nutrient budget calculator

You can calculate the amount of nutrients your proposed development will add to the watercourse and are required to mitigate using Natural England's nutrient budget calculator.

River Lugg: Nutrient budget calculator

Read the River Lugg: Nutrient budget calculator - guidance


Phosphate credits

As a way to help unlock development in the north of the county, Herefordshire Council will provide Phosphate Credits generated from the wetland scheme, for developers to purchase as a mitigation to achieve nutrient neutrality.

The council has confirmed an initial Phosphate Credit Pricing and Allocation Policy for existing applications awaiting determination that were validated before 31 October 2021.

Find out more about phosphate credits and if you are eligible to apply.

If you are not eligible and would still like to continue with your application you must provide mitigation to offset for your nutrient budget.

Other mitigation

For guidance on how to demonstrate your means of mitigation both onsite, in the first instance, and offsite where necessary:

Mitigation can be a complex matter, so we would recommend seeking advice through either Natural England's Discretionary Advice Service and/or the council's pre-application service.