Nutrient neutrality in Cornwall


This area contains information about the River Camel and nutrient neutrality.

In 2021, Natural England (NE) issued advice about phosphates in the River Camel. Too many phosphates can cause rapid growth of certain plants, impacting wildlife. NE considers the natural habitats of the River Camel to be unfavourable.

The Habitat Regulations 2017 protect the River Camel Special Area of Conservation. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) is the competent authority under the Habitat Regulations. This means we must ensure new development does not cause adverse impacts on the site.

A planning application will only be able to proceed to a positive recommendation if:

  • the proposed development is phosphate neutral or
  • the applicant can identify and secure mitigation.

NE advice states that LPAs need to apply a "precautionary approach".

Where to find our nutrient neutrality advice and information


Nutrient neutrality and planning applications

This page is the 'home' of our phosphate budget calculator.  The calculator can help identify whether: 

  • a proposal is likely to add to the nutrient load within the catchment and need mitigation or
  • the development is nutrient neutral.

This page also contains: 

  • check if this issue affects your site
  • help with using the calculator
  • next steps and validation requirements
  • small scale thresholds and nutrient neutrality principles guidelines.

Nutrient neutrality and planning applications


Government and Natural England advice

You can find guidance from the Government and Natural England on this page.

Government and Natural England advice


Types of development and applications affected

You can find out more on this page about: 

  • Development and Application Types affected by nutrient neutrality
  • how it affects minor agricultural development
  • undertaking Permitted Development works
  • refusals and withdrawals
  • Grampian conditions
  • extended outline consents

Types of development and applications affected


River Camel phosphates mitigation strategy and policy

Cornwall Council published a draft solutions mitigation report in April 2022.  This page contains:

  • what potential options you could use
  • advice on implementing them
  • progress with our mitigation strategy and policies

River Camel phosphates mitigation strategy and policy


Temporary pause on development in the River Camel Special Area of Conservation

This is the home page of the project team working on nutrient neutrality in Cornwall.  It contains background to the project and the latest updates from the project team.Temporary pause on development in the River Camel Special Area of Conservation


River Camel phosphates - stakeholder news

This page contains information for stakeholders including:

  • from past events
  • upcoming opportunities to hear the latest news on nutrient neutrality in Cornwall.

River Camel phosphates - stakeholder news

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