Areas within the River Tees catchment are affected by Nutrient Neutrality
due to excess nitrogen levels in the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast designated site. This region includes the following Local Planning Authorities (LPAs):
The affected areas in the Tees catchment cover a number of larger towns and cities, including Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool, Redcar, Stockton-on-Tees and Barnard Castle.
A detailed map of the area is shown below, and we also have mapped all the areas in England and Wales impacted by Nutrient Neutrality.
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We would characterise the mitigation market in the catchment as weak due to limited supply of nitrogen credits. Mitigation is being priced on a per house basis, with the cost of nutrient credits generally being quite high. Typically these are in the region of £3,000 to £5,000 per house.
The area has no nutrient stripping technology at wastewater treatment works. New houses currently require around 2.7 kg of nitrogen per house. This creates significant opportunities for landowners looking at mitigation schemes.
We forecast demand outstripping supply for at least the next 2 years, despite new schemes coming online (see below).
There are approximately 34 wastewater treatment works in the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Nutrient Neutrality area. None of these works are scheduled for an upgrade over the current upgrade cycle (AMP7), running to 2025.
In order to meet the upgrade requirements that may be brought in under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, referred to as the ‘TAL upgrades’, 15 treatment works will be upgraded to have both nitrogen removal technologies by 2030. This means 19 treatment works will remain above the most stringent nitrogen removal requirements. Developments connecting to these treatment works will need more mitigation than those connecting to the 15 treatment works getting TAL upgrades.
As per our research into water treatment upgrades, we do not believe that it is likely that the water companies will be able to deliver all the upgrades in this cycle.
Natural England Strategic Nutrient Mitigation Scheme
The national-scale Natural England Nutrient Mitigation Scheme is likely to look at deploying mitigation solutions within affected areas of the River Tees catchment. These schemes may start to come online at the end of 2023, however exact timelines are unclear. The scheme is focussing on nature-based solutions such as wetlands and catchment management methods.
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