Nitrogen reduction in Poole Harbour

The Nitrogen Reduction in Poole Harbour Supplementary Planning Document sets out how the four councils (Borough of Poole, North Dorset District Council, Purbeck District Council and West Dorset District Council) will mitigate the impact of nitrogen on Poole Harbour. Nitrogen is generated through sewage from new housing development and leads to a growth of algal mats in the harbour, restricting the growth, distribution and variety of food available for internationally protected bird species.

The majority of developers will provide mitigation for their development through the payment of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), and need do nothing further.

However if a residential or tourism development is not liable to pay CIL, for example hotels or tourist attractions the development will still have to provide mitigation. This will be through Section 106 Agreements.

The council will use the CIL monies to provide the mitigation at pace with housing development to ensure that new development is nitrogen neutral.

The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted by the council on 21 February 2017 and it came into force on 1 April 2017. The final version has been informed by responses received from a six week consultation held between 9 October and 20 November 2015. In support of the SPD are a Consultation Report, Consultation Statement and Adoption Statement.


The draft SPD set out how the council will use Community Infrastructure Levy funds collected from new development within the Poole Harbour Catchment, to offset the impact that additional sewage from new development has on the feeding grounds of wading birds.

We coordinated the public consultation on the draft Supplementary Planning Document on behalf of the local authorities that share the catchment of Poole Harbour. The six week consultation closed on Friday 20 November 2015 and the representations received were considered by officers.

Contact details


01202 633321

Growth and Infrastructure
BCP Council
Civic Centre
BH15 2RU 

Page last updated: 18 July 2018
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