The Habitats Directive requires the potential effects of spatial and land use plans (ie Local Plans) on European sites such as the River Mease Special Area of Conservation (SAC) to be assessed. In this Mease a specific approach has been developed to reduce the impact of nutrients associated with development. This is called the Developer Contribution Scheme (DCS) and is the result of the Habitats Directive assessment. The DCS provides a strategic approach to off‐setting the negative effects of development.
All new housing and commercial development which contribute additional waste water (and therefore nutrients, in particular phosphate) through a sewage treatment works which discharges into the River Mease catchment will have a direct impact on water quality and will be required to provide developer contributions or undertake appropriate mitigation.
This fund is being used to mitigate the negative water quality effects of development. In doing so, the DCS will ensure that new development does not compromise the primary purpose of the Water Quality Management Plan.
The fund is used in three key areas;
- Project management, including the appointment of a dedicated project manager
- Monitoring, both in terms of long term water quality and to measure the impact of individual schemes
- Design and Capital costs of the interventions.
There are a number of documents which contribute towards the improvements to the River Mease SAC:
- River Mease SSSI/SAC Restoration Plan
- River Mease Water Quality (Phosphate) Management Plan
- Developer Contribution Scheme 1
- Developer Contribution Scheme Appendix 1 – Measures to be funded through the Developer Contribution Scheme 1
- Developer Contribution Scheme 2
- Developer Contribution Scheme Appendix 2 – Measures to be funded through Developer Contribution Scheme 2
Details on some of the projects that have been delivered so far can be found on the Project page.