Call for Projects - Biodiversity Net Gain and Nutrient Mitigation

New Forest District Council is inviting landowners and other interested parties to put forward proposals for projects within the district that will enhance local biodiversity and improve the condition of the River Avon and water quality in the Solent and Southampton Water.

What is this and why is it required?

New Forest District is rich in sites of great value for nature conservation, many of which are recognised to be of international as well as national importance. However, many of these sites are put under pressure from human activity and development in the area. Positive action is needed to ensure that development needed in the area does not result in harmful effects on important habitats and wildlife. Further, we strongly support the objective of enhancing local biodiversity and have already introduced a local requirement that new development should not only seek to avoid and minimise harm to nature conservation interests but should positively seek to enhance local biodiversity.

Since July 2020 most 'major' new development in our planning area is required to deliver a minimum 10% enhancement of a site's biodiversity following development.

It is not always possible to achieve sufficient biodiversity gain within a development site. Sometimes off-site enhancement projects will be an appropriate alternative in addition to on-site measures. Therefore, we are inviting landowners and other interested parties to put forward projects that would help deliver positive enhancement of local biodiversity. Projects approved by us will be eligible to be considered for funding from tariffs placed on developers to ensure their environmental obligations are met.

There are significant issues related to the impact of new development on water quality in the River Avon catchment area and the water quality in the Solent and Southampton Water and their damaging potential to increase harmful nutrients - phosphates and nitrates - within these protected habitats.

These issues affect a wider area than New Forest District and have stalled development within the district and southern Hampshire for an extended period. As well as working with others to try and address these issues, we are keen to find local projects which will help reduce the levels of nutrients flowing into the Avon, Solent and Southampton Water. We are inviting landowners and land managers to put forward projects that could assist in reducing nutrients in the water environment and offering potential funding of these projects by developers' contributions

Full details about this initiative and how you can put forward projects for consideration, for either delivering biodiversity enhancements, nutrient reduction or both, can be found in the following Guidance Note:

Submitting a project

To put forward land and/or projects which you believe could be suitable for providing Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), or that could make a contribution to reducing the discharge of nutrients (phosphates to the River Avon or nitrates to the Solent) please read the Guidance Note, and then complete the submission form below

and return it to us by email to

Alternatively you can post a completed submission form to


New Forest District Council,

Appletree Court, Beaulieu Road,


Hampshire, SO43 7PA

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