Nutrient Neutrality

Advice to Applicants and Agents

First, it is important to identify whether your development lies inside or outside the River Wensum or the Broads Special Area of Conservation (SAC). If you are finding it difficult to identify whether you are inside or outside a catchment area, then please contact your case officer who will be able to advise.

Please note the maps shown on our website are the only maps we are able to provide. However, we have been informed by Natural England that more detailed maps can be accessed on Defra's Interactive Mapping System, MAGIC (opens new window). This system has been updated with an SSSI Impact Risk Zones layer, which can be used to identify whether a location is within a nutrient impact area.

    If you are inside a Catchment Area:

    First, check whether your planning application site lies in a Nutrient Neutrality Catchment Area.

    View the Nutrient Neutrality map (opens new window)

    If you lie in an affected catchment area then you will need to undertake the following actions:

    1. Within 10 days of receipt of a valid planning application, write to your case officer agreeing to an extension of time for a period of 6 months from the date of this letter.  Please note failure to agree to an extension of time may result in refusal of planning permission.
    2. Run the Norfolk or Natural England (NE) Nutrient Budget Calculator (if you use the NE calculator and you fall within both the Broads SAC and the Wensum SAC then you only need to run the Broads SAC calculator).  This must be completed within 3 weeks of submission of the planning application or your application may be refused.
    3. Carry out a shadow Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and provide to the case officer, as soon as possible.
    4. Identify appropriate mitigation, if possible.

    At present there are credits available in the Yare catchment only.  To purchase or find out more information, please visit theNorfolk Environmental Credits website (opens new window)If you wish to purchase credits it is essential to register your interest on theNorfolk Environmental Credits 'buying' website (opens new window). For development located within the other catchments, work is ongoing looking for solutions and mitigation, so it is worth checking the Norfolk Environmental Credits website regularly for updates.

    If you identify your own mitigation, which is encouraged, the Local Planning Authority will, as the competent authority, then carry out an Appropriate Assessment (AA), and permission for the plan or project may only be given if the AA allows us to be certain that your development will not have an adverse impact on the integrity of the SAC i.e. where no reasonable scientific doubt remains as to the absence of effects.

    Atraining video (opens new window) is also available, which provides a step-by-step guide on how to use the Norfolk nutrient calculator.

    Sites outside the SAC Catchment Area(s)

    Please note if you lie outside the Nutrient Neutrality Catchment Areas but are close to them, you may be asked to provide more information and agree to an extension of time, as set out above.

    Last updated: 05/03/2024 11:10:31