Polluted rivers hamper construction of more than 7% of new homes
High pollution levels are stalling the planned construction of more than 7% of new homes, according to an analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA).
House building is also banned in other areas due to low water levels, leading LGA to call for more to be done to protect Britain’s rivers and wildlife habitats.
However, the organization said limiting new development alone would not be enough to improve the environment, as most pollution comes from agriculture and water companies.
Cllr David Renard, LGA Environment Spokesperson, said: “Councils want safe, clean and thriving natural environments alongside sustainable housing, growth and jobs.
“It is worrying and frustrating that pollution levels in some rivers have reached such a point that they are triggering a ban on the building of around 20,000 new homes each year, more than 7% of the likely construction of new homes in England. .
“Councils are working tirelessly to allow homes to be built while meeting high environmental standards. However, they cannot achieve this alone. We need to reduce pollution at the source, which comes mainly from water treatment and agriculture.
“Government and its agencies, home builders, the agricultural sector and water companies must all join the councils to find short-term solutions while doing everything in our power to reduce pollution at home. source.”
The Habitats Directive Act, established by the EU, commits nations to protect species and maintain biodiversity, which means that pollution of rivers must be kept to minimum levels.
LGS’s analysis reveals that 23 communes have more than 90% of house building areas impacted by the law, while 40 communes have a quarter impacted and a third of the North East is also affected.
Construction can only begin if developers and municipalities can prove that they will not produce any additional pollution in already heavily contaminated areas.
The problem is complex and will require long-term intervention, which means that up to 100,000 new homes could be prevented from being built if action is not taken quickly.
Building bans are already challenging councils by halting growth and infrastructure, causing job losses and affecting council finances.
In related news, property owners in UK coastal areas are unaware they are responsible for their own flood risk management and have taken small steps to put in place flood defences, research finds of the British Sociological Association.
Photo by Benjamin Elliott