West Berkshire Council

River Lambourn Special Area of Conservation (SAC)


On 16 March 2022, West Berkshire Council, along with others within Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, received a Letter from Natural England that informed them that the River Lambourn Special Area of Conservation (a designated habitat site) was in an unfavourable condition. Therefore, local planning authorities would need to consider the negative impacts of new development in this area on the river.

The advice in the letter required the local planning authorities, as the Competent Authority under the Habitats Regulations Assessment, to consider the nutrients impact of any new plans and projects, and to consider whether those impacts may have an adverse effect upon the integrity of a habitats site that requires mitigation through nutrient neutrality.

The advice is relevant to all types of overnight accommodation, including new homes, student accommodation, care homes, tourism attractions and tourist accommodation, and permitted development (which gives rise to new overnight accommodation) under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

In addition to the documents provided by Natural England and DeFRA, the Chief Planner for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DHLUC) also wrote to all local authorities on 16 March providing an update upon DHLUC's position and support available for each catchment.

The pages listed below contain the relevant documents available, as well as the Phosphate Calculator, information about Regulation 77 and frequently asked questions:


Documents for the River Lambourn Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Find documents relating to the River Lambourn SAC from Natural England
Phosphate Calculator
Find information about and links to the Nutrient Budget Calculator and guidance
Prior Approvals and Regulation 77
As the River Lambourn comprises a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), any development approved under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended) is the subject of Habitats Regulations Assessment by way of a Regulation 77 Application.
Nutrient Neutrality: frequently asked questions (Professional) Development Management
Find answers to frequently asked questions and topics related to nutrient neutrality