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Local Council to receive £100,000 to help deliver water neutrality mitigation strategy

Monday, April 25th, 2022 8:34pm

By Karen Dunn - Local Democracy Reporter

A grant of £100,000 has been lined up to help Horsham District Council recruit staff to deliver a water neutrality mitigation strategy for parts of West Sussex.

The grant, which was given to the county council by the Coast to Capital LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership), will be passed to the district council once the staff are employed.

The matter will be discussed at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday (April 27).

A water neutrality mitigation strategy will help to ensure that Local Plans for Horsham, Chichester and Crawley are progressed in a way that includes environmental protection for wildlife and habitats in the Arun Valley.

Water is supplied to much of those areas by Southern Water from its Sussex North Water Resource Zone.

The fear is that the current rate of water abstraction – the process of taking water from surface or underground sources – is having an impact on the protected sites.

A water neutrality mitigation strategy would help to deliver the necessary protection. A report due to be tabled at Wednesday’s meeting explains that, as Horsham is the only authority in the Sussex North Water Resource Zone that is wholly affected by the issue of water neutrality, it would make sense for the council to host the new staff.

If agreed, the bulk of the grant – an estimated £68,000 – will be spent on a project manager to develop the mitigation strategy, including a business case for its longer-term implementation and delivery.

The rest will be spent on admin support or consultancy fees.

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