Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions

Understanding & finding solutions to water quality pressures allowing future development that improves our waterways

Purpose

The Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions brings together the many organisations and people who want to ensure that new development sustainably addresses the pressures on water quality across Pembrokeshire.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) published new targets to reduce river phosphate levels in special areas of conservation (SAC) across Wales. These new targets were informed by recent evidence from Joint Nature Conservation Committee on the damaging effects of phosphates to water ecosystems and species. This means any proposals for development within the Cleddau and Teifi SAC river catchments that will generate increased volume or concentration of wastewater – must now prove that the development will not contribute to increased phosphate levels. Planning permission cannot be granted unless it can be demonstrated that a development will have no adverse effect on the integrity of these special areas of conservation. The need to find ways to mitigate the nutrient impacts of development can present opportunities to work with nature and land managers to obtain these reductions.

Aims

The Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions aims to find natural land management actions that can be used to ensure future development can take place that reduces the nutrients impacting water quality.

The Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions will quantify the phosphate impact of planned housing or agricultural development, engage with land managers to find, and cost solutions, creating mitigation plans for specific developments. These development mitigation plans will meet the requirements of the phosphate guidance and Habitat Regulations, allowing planning permission to be obtained.

Housing developers will work with local land managers to find solutions to allow local housing to be built while being a part of reducing the nutrient load on rivers.

Individual farm businesses wishing to expand will look to their own land management and co-operative partnerships with other land managers to ensure development has no adverse effect on water quality.

Objectives

Improve the understanding of the impact of phosphorus loading from planned future development by creating a register by location, development type and loading identified in local development and regeneration plans.

Enhance the Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership Land Use Planning Tool to improve decision making on investments in natural solution. Show how different landscapes aid or prevent phosphorus loss into waterways. Ensure development mitigation plans have no unintended adverse effects on Pembrokeshire’s Nature Recovery Plan.

Engagement with land managers to find and cost suitable methods to mitigate the nutrient impacts identified from planned future development.

Work with land managers and housing developers to create mitigation plans designed for Habitats Regulation Assessment for potential and actual housing developments sites.

Create a guide for both farmers and planners on how the new targets to reduce river phosphate levels in special areas of conservation (SAC) apply to agriculture development and how development mitigation plans can inform the planning application process.

Collaboratively consider with land managers, planners, developers, regulators, and investors the need for an entity that would manage a mitigation process to streamline future development while improving water quality. Taking forward learning and recommendations from the Building Resilience in Catchments (BRICs) work.

Funding

The Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions is a £140,000 development, led by the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum. It is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, being administered by Pembrokeshire County Council. The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus

Key Messages

Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions is a collaborative and innovative project that will contribute to sustainable economic development by allowing businesses to grow whilst reducing the overall level of nutrients entering waterways.

Ecosystem Enterprise Partnership – Building Natural Solutions will work with land managers and housing developers to find ways to mitigate nutrient impacts from future housing development.

Working with

ADAS
Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
Farming Union Wales’
First Milk Cooperative
Natural Resources Wales
Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum
Pembrokeshire County Council
Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership
Pembrokeshire Marine SAC
Welsh Government