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SAFE WATERS: Councillors vow to protect Croxley’s rivers as government scraps guidance

 Published on: 3rd January 2024   |   By: Panayiota Demosthenous   |   Category: Uncategorized

Three Rivers district councillors have united to protect rivers in Croxley and across the district.

In September last year, the government attempted to amend the Levelling Up & Regeneration Act to remove the requirement to include nutrient neutrality in planning applications. The new legislation would mean developers would no longer need to put plans in place to reduce river pollution, and councils would no longer be able to refuse planning permission for developments that could harm local rivers.

However, this amendment was defeated in the House of Lords in September.

The following month, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, spoke at a Conservative Party conference, where he suggested that the rules would be abandoned “at the first available opportunity”.

This led to Green Party councillor Narinder Sian proposing a motion to Three Rivers District Council, seconded by his colleague councillor Chris Mitchell. They called on council Leader councillor Sarah Nelmes to write to Mr Gove highlighting the damage this could do to Croxley’s waterways.

The motion was agreed with the support of Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors on December 12.

Cllr Sian said “This is an important issue for our local environment. We are custodians of very rare and precious chalk streams and we must protect them.”

In the government’s Autumn Statement, it was announced that funds to offset the damage caused by new housing developments would be offered to local authorities.

Cllr Mitchell said: “This is an open acknowledgement that scrapping these rules will increase pollution.

“These new rules transfer responsibility and costs of dealing with pollution from profitable developers to the public.”

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