Correspondence shows nature watchdog had recommended that housebuilders pay for pollution

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The government ignored its nature watchdog’s advice in weakening rules on pollution from housebuilders in England, the Guardian can reveal.

Michael Gove, the housing secretary, and Thérèse Coffey, the environment secretary, recently announced they would be ending what they termed “defective” EU laws, which require developers to offset any extra nutrient pollution they cause in sensitive areas, under the habitats directive. These areas include the Lake District and Norfolk Broads.

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