Oxygen-killing algae could be fuelled by new developments in the Solent region, warns Natural England, prompting the Isle of Wight’s MP to ask what the Isle of Wight Council is doing to monitor it.

The Isle of Wight MP says there is sound evidence that these nutrients are causing eutrophication – dense algae growth which denies other plant and animal life of oxygen.

There is advice, says Bob Seely, that new developments should only be permitted if they are nitrogen-neutral, to ensure increased wastewater does not harm protected areas.

Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and East Hampshire councils have all blocked planning developments near water courses that draining into the Solent.

MP Bob Seely is asking the Isle of Wight Council if it has done the same.

In a letter he wrote,

“We must protect the wildlife we have in the Solent. Currently, the dense mats of green algae are negatively impacting on the Solent’s protected habitats and bird species and house building is contributing to this.

“We must take action to ensure that our eco-systems are not threatened by over-development – as they will be if the current Island Plan which envisages 9,600 new homes – is approved.”

In a statement to Isle of Wight Radio, Natural England said:

“Around the country we work closely with developers and councils to support developments so they can help to protect and, in many cases, help to improve the natural environment.

“This helps to create better places for people and wildlife – something that benefits everyone.“However, it is for the local planning authority to grant or refuse planning permission.”