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50 Shades of Planning: Episode 123 – Neutral Impact III (and a bit of Green Belt)


The latest episode of the 50 Shades of Planning podcast is available to listen now.

When Sam Stafford first covered nutrient neutrality, in February 2021, he described the process of eutrophication as a bit like the podcast itself: a little niche, but very important.

When Sam published a second episode in September 2022 it had grown in importance to the extent that Prime Minister Liz Truss had pledged to “scrap nutrient neutrality rules”.

The question that was posed in that second Shades episode remains just as pertinent: how far away is a satisfactory resolution in those parts of the country that have been affected? In order to provide an updated answer to that question, Sam invited three people on the nutrient neutrality front line to have a chat about their experiences of dealing with it. They are old friend of the podcast Rachel Jones, who contributed the second episode, and new friends of the podcast Andrew Smith and Gemma Nelmes.

In this conversation, they talk about their recent learnings and how replicable emerging strategies in some parts of the country could be in other parts of the country. They discuss whether enough is known about the state of designated catchments and what the actual causes of nutrient levels are. And they ponder the ‘what next?’ question.

50 Shades of Planning is produced in partnership with Cratus Group and is the podcast for planners, by planners. Hosted by Sam Stafford, 50 Shades of Planning is about the foibles of the English planning system and aims to cover the breadth of the sector both in terms of topics of conversation and in terms of guests with different experiences and perspectives.

You can listen to all previous episodes here.

Cratus Group partners with 50 Shades of Planning podcats series