For all applicable developments:

Major development: The nitrogen budget and developer contribution (cost recovery) fees are both based on the expected water use (water output) of the development, and will therefore need to be calculated in the same way, as agreed with the Case Officer.

Minor development: while a Nitrogen Budget for the development will still need to be calculated, to determine the scale of impact of the proposal and the amount of the Council’s mitigation credit required (if applicable), the fee will be calculated as a flat rate of £200 per unit (or per bedspace for hotel development).

It is advised that the Council’s Nitrogen Budget Excel document, based on Natural England’s methodology (as of June 2019), is used to calculate the water output of the development.

Dwelling Houses (C3 uses)

An assumed occupancy of 2.4 persons per dwelling (at 110lppd) will be the basis for nitrogen budget unless the applicant is providing alternative average occupancy information.

Cost will be per dwelling: £4,354.17 for major applications at the average occupancy, £200 administration and monitoring fee per dwelling for minor applications.

Change of Use from a Dwelling House (C3 Use) or Home in Multiple Occupancy (C4 Use) to an Enlarged HMO (Sui Generis Use)

The Nitrogen Budget would be calculated on the increase in occupancy (at 110lpppd) on a case by case basis. The fee would be £200 per additional person.

Student accommodation

For student accommodation there is in general more certainty regarding occupation: One unit (bedspace), equals one person (at 110 litres per-person per day).

If occupation is limited to term time only, evidence for a lower average occupancy could be submitted for consideration, if applicants are also willing to limit occupancy by condition.

The fee is expected to be per-person which will be per unit for the majority of such applications. E.g. £1,814.24 per unit for major applications, £200 per unit for minor applications.

Residential Care Homes

The calculation for care homes and related types of development will depend on the nature of the proposed development (bedspaces / individual or shared units?). The basis of the calculation is likely to be 110pppd per-person (bedspace / individually occupied unit), or 110lpppd by the number of units and times the maximum occupancy, or an average occupancy figure if the applicant can provide occupancy data for consideration. In general, this is likely to be £1,814.24 per bedspace for major applications, £200 per bedspace for minor applications.


In view of the complexity around how rooms could be occupied (e.g. for business use or leisure on different days of the week), the Council consider it would be reasonable to calculate water use for hotels on a bedspace rather than per-person basis. The Council has suggested the EA research report figure of 54.8 litres per bedspace per day* could be used as a starting point; applicants should still seek to provide alternative evidence on water use where possible. For minor development the fee will also be per bedspace. Applicants may also submit alternative occupancy data for consideration.

*Water use benchmark for a 2-3 star hotel, no pool. Source: Environment Agency (2010) Energy and carbon implications of rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling, p41