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Decision details

FDMSP-01-22 - Intention - Setting the price for nitrogen offsetting on council land at Roundbarrow Farm

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management and Strategic Planning

Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

Decision:

I approve that:

 

It is agreed to set the price for nitrogen offsetting credits at £2,500 for 1kg / Nitrogen (plus legal and admin fees) to deliver a strategic mitigation scheme on Council land at Roundbarrow Farm. This is available to developments located in the River Test catchment in Wiltshire.

 

This decision was published on the 25 May 2022 and will come into force on the 6 June 2022.

Reasons for the decision:

The price of nitrogen ‘credits’ needs to be set to establish the strategic nitrogen mitigation scheme at Roundbarrow Farm. Some developments have been held up for over 18 months whilst awaiting strategic mitigation solutions and these planning applications can be unlocked once the price has been set.

 

Alternative options considered:

The price has been set at £2,500 per 1kg / Nitrogen (plus legal and admin fees) to ensure there is adequate revenue to cover the loss of farm rental income, to deliver a successful environmental mitigations scheme, and to manage future risks from policy and legal changes.

 

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) (‘Habitats Regulations’) planning applications in the River Test catchment in Wiltshire are required to be nitrogen neutral. Some planning applications have been held up for over 18 months but now a mitigation solution is available on Council land at Roundbarrow Farm, Pitton.

 

Roundbarrow Farm was previously managed as a dairy farm and was returned to Wiltshire Council in September 2021. Managing the land to enhance the natural capital and for conservation purposes, rather than as an intensive dairy farm, creates nitrogen ‘credits’ that can be traded to counterbalance the nitrogen burdens from new development.

 

It was agreed at the Asset Management Group (21.09.21) to bring forward Council land at Roundbarrow Farm for nitrogen offsetting. A separate strategy is being progressed for the potential repurposing of the farm buildings.

 

The main consideration for the Council is the price of the nitrogen ‘credits’. This is important as it will secure the necessary funding for the loss of farming tenancy revenue to the Council in perpetuity (80 to 125 years) and cover long term management costs.

 

 

Contact: Lynn Trigwell, 01225 718479, Email: lynn.trigwell@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Publication date: 06/05/2022

Date of decision: 24/05/2022

Date comes into force if not called in: 02/06/2022

Call-in deadline date: 01/06/2022

Current call-in Count: 0

Accompanying Documents:

 

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