Meeting documents

SWT Phosphates Planning Sub-Committee
Thursday, 24th February, 2022 2.30 pm

Venue: The John Meikle Room - The Deane House. View directions

Contact: Tracey Meadows Email: 

Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item


Election of Chair


Election of Vice-Chair




Declarations of interest

    To receive and note any declarations of disclosable pecuniary or prejudicial or personal interests or lobbying in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.


    (The personal interests of Councillors and Clerks of Somerset County Council, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)

    Additional documents:


    No further declarations of interest were declared.


Election of Co-opted member


Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 100 KB

    Additional documents:


    During the discussion of this item the following point was raised:-


    ·       Would the sub-committee have the capacity to tweak/alter the Terms of Reference going forward or would this require going back to Full Council for approval.

    The Solicitor advised that any amendments would need to go through the Monitoring Officer in terms of changes to the Constitution and if significant change was needed this would need to go through the  Planning Committee;


    The Terms of Reference were agreed.




Update Report on Phosphate and criteria/process for allocation of credits to support the determination of planning applications pdf icon PDF 658 KB

    Additional documents:


    Purpose of the Report


    As agreed by Full Council on 5 October 2021, Somerset West and Taunton Council was currently progressing a programme of interim measures which were being put in place to facilitate phosphate neutral development in the District.


    The purpose of the report was to provide the Phosphate Planning Sub Committee with;


    ·       an update on the interim strategy;


    ·       To set out a preferred option for the allocation of Phosphate credits (‘P credits’);


    ·       Outline and agree the next steps required for Officers to take forward the preferred option, including the establishment of a template Section 106 Agreement and project level Appropriate Assessment to be signed off by Natural England;


    There was no statutory requirement for the Council to intervene to address the phosphates issue, however the impact on the problem was having wide ranging implications. As a result, the Council was taking proactive action in order to try and find appropriate solutions;


    During discussion of this slide presentation the following comments were made; (summarised)


    ·       The Chair raised concerns that developers required a suitable Phosphate solution on their site. A base line was needed so that we knew what we were talking about as some developers would produce a suitable mitigation plan. We also needed to ensure that Wessex Water as the major water-treatment organisation in our area was busy removing phosphates to get some of these stalled site moving;

    ·       Concerns with speculative development applications from outside of the areas that we would like to see developed;

    ·       What level of mitigation was acceptable in terms of the developers?

    In terms of mitigation they needed to be nutrient neutral so it would vary from site to site, the scale of the development proposed and the located catchment area and that meant how much mitigation needed to be provided and that was what the phosphate calculator set out to say how much credit was needed depending on the location, There was nothing to stop developers coming to use with their own mitigations. We are working with the ecology service to make sure that we were satisfied that developments were nutrient neutral;

    ·       How could we go to Wessex Water?

    Councillor Rigby was in conversations with Wessex Water and other bodies;

    ·       Concerns were raised with regards to Septic tanks and pollution levels due to them being plumbed into a local streams. The septic tanks were hard to track down unless there was a pollution incident. Did the Environment Agency hold a database on these?

    ·       Retrofitting our Council homes to come down to a 110 litres, did this mean that the litres that we were saving would go to ‘P’ credits for the North Taunton development to offset theirs ? if this was the case, what about our RSL and Alms houses who may be able to set up a similar situation, were they going to be eligible?

    In terms of credits, the discussion would still have to had with Natural England regarding the extent to which it was applying to RSL’s or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.