Sam Hall, the director of the Conservative Environment Network, said: “Conservative environmentalists support both home ownership and environmental stewardship. The limited options for housebuilders to offset nutrient pollution from new homes meant that nutrient neutrality rules were acting as a de facto block on much-needed housing.
“A better approach for both nature recovery and housing supply is possible, and so the government was right to seek an alternative. The government’s mitigation measures, which will avoid additional nutrient pollution entering rivers until 2030 when water treatment works will have been upgraded, are welcome.
“It is disappointing, however, that the government has chosen to exempt housebuilding’s nutrient pollution from the habitats regulations, rather than seek a holistic reform with developers paying proportionally for their pollution.”