Developments and planning permissions in south Hampshire could soon be back on track after £2m was secured to address environmental concerns in the region.
Following Natural England raising an issue with nitrates entering the Solent, some councils have been unable to grant planning permission for new developments but now funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership is set to address the issue.
The money will be used to buy agricultural land, one of the main sources of nitrates, and change its use to reduce the environmental impact. This reduction can be offset against the impact of new developments.
The project is being co-ordinated through the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH), which brings local councils and other partners together with a focus on sustainable growth in the area.
Cllr Seán Woodward, chairman of PfSH, said: "I'm very pleased we've been able to find a way to address this serious environmental issue without preventing opportunities for sustainable developments within our region. It's great that so many partners have worked together to find a solution that will benefit everyone and this really is win-win situation as the environment benefits as do local residents and the economy."
Options are being explored for potential land to purchase and once any land has been bought it could be converted to a variety of uses ranging from tree planting or wild flower meadows to conservation areas and wetland and nature reserves, depending on what the location would suit.