Somerset Phosphate Mitigation Update
Somerset West & Taunton Council (SWTC) has announced that it will borrow £2m to buy land to create wetlands for phosphate mitigation.
The council will then sell phosphate credits to developers. The full report to the council can be viewed here.
The scheme may enable between 700 and 1,350 new dwellings to be built in the River Tone catchment area. In addition, SWTC is introducing a standard planning condition to achieve water efficiency of 110 l/person/day in all new developments (currently 145 l/person/day) and retrofitting their existing housing stock with water efficiency measures. There is currently no timescale as to when this scheme will be introduced, but it is likely to be in 2022 at the earliest.
SWTC have made it clear that this is only a short-term fix, and they will continue lobbying the government and the water utility companies. The Council’s long term goal is new legislation which restricts phosphate output, especially from waste water treatment works.