The River Mease is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) due to the importance of the species and habitats it supports.

River Mease Standing Advice – January 2022

Natural England published Standing Advice for the River Mease SAC in January 2022, which is available to view at the link below:

River Mease Standing Advice - Advice to Local Planning Authorities - Natural England, January 2022 (PDF Document, 0.24 Mb)

River Mease Update – November 2020

It has recently been announced that the project to pump out treated foul flows from two key Sewage Treatment Works at Packington and Measham in the Mease catchment has been put back to 2027.  This new deadline has been agreed by Severn Trent Water, who are responsible for constructing the pipeline to take foul flows out of the catchment, following discussions with the Environment Agency, who want to assess the likely effect of the transfer of treated effluent on downstream river flows prior to construction works commencing.  To allow for this assessment the timetable for completing the works have been put back to 2027.  Previously the pump out was agreed to take place by the end of 2025.

The extended completion date could affect the delivery of new homes, business premises and infrastructure, across the River Mease catchment. 

Schemes that already have planning permission, will not be affected by this announcement, including Money Hill, Ashby.

For North West Leicestershire District Council this means that development in Ashby de-la Zouch, Packington, Measham, Oakthorpe,Blackfordby, Norris Hill and part of Moira could be affected. 

However, North West Leicestershire District Council, working with our partners on the River Mease Programme Board, are seeking to identify a number of ‘bespoke’ projects over the coming months to remove phosphate from the River Mease Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and its tributaries.  Once identified, these projects will need to be funded by developers, as was the case with previous developer contribution schemes. However, in contributing to these works, developers will be able to ensure that the effects of their development on the SAC are fully mitigated by removing an amount of phosphate from the river equivalent to that which will be generated by their development and will allow for continued growth. 

In addition, there is no capacity left within the Developer Contribution Scheme 2 (DCS2) for new developments which also affects developments in the settlements of Donisthorpe, Spring Cottage, Chilcote, Appleby Magna, Snarestone, Swepstone and parts of Newton Burgoland and Moira. 

North West Leicestershire District Council are also continuing to progress discussions regarding interim solutions and non mains drainage schemes will be considered in some instances. 

Additional information on the River Mease SAC including the projects being undertaken to improve the condition of the River can be found at

Further information can be accessed using the following links, including correspondence from the Environment Agency (PDF Document, 0.1 Mb)outlining the flow monitoring work they wish to undertake, the Joint Statement (PDF Document, 0.39 Mb)between the Environment Agency, Natural England and Severn Trent Water and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs (PDF Document, 0.61 Mb)) document prepared by the River Mease Partnership.

Those communities in North West Leicestershire not highlighted above are unaffected by these issues. 

Additional River Mease Information

The organisations in the River Mease Partnership are involved in a number of ongoing initiatives and activities to improve the River Mease SAC, from improving its water quality through the management of the river and its catchment, to providing a better environment for wildlife. Further information is available about the River Mease at

Survey work by the Environment Agency revealed the quality of the water in the river was poor, mainly due to high phosphorous levels. 

As a precaution against increasing phosphorous levels, since 2009, new development in the area has been restricted, leading to delays in planning applications and a knock-on effect on the local economy.  

The River Mease Programme Board* has adopted an updated Developer Contributions Strategy (DCS2) to enable developers to pay a direct contribution to keeping water quality high in the River Mease. The principle is a simple one – the polluter pays. Any development which will have an impact on the amount of waste water going into the sewerage system – and therefore which will have a knock on effect on discharges into the River Mease from water treatment works – will have to make a contribution to the costs. The scheme directly funds the actions that will help to improve the water quality and so will improve the environment for wildlife and people alike.

The developer contribution scheme is over and above actions which have also been taken to impose stricter limits on phosphorous levels at a number of local water treatment works.  Together these limits and the developer contribution scheme will have a combined impact on reducing phosphorous levels in the river and its habitats.

River Mease Developer Contribution Scheme 2 (DCS2) (June 2016) (PDF Document, 0.63 Mb)

River Mease DCS2 Appendix 1 (June 2016) (PDF Document, 0.65 Mb)

River Mease DCS2 Non Technical Summary (June 2016) (PDF Document, 0.1 Mb)

DCS2 replaces the previous Developer Contribution Strategy (DCS1) which can be viewed at:

River Mease SAC Developer Contribution Strategy (PDF Document, 0.5 Mb)

River Mease SAC Developer Contribution Strategy - Appendix 1 (PDF Document, 0.14 Mb)

A map of the area subject to the River Mease SAC Developer Contribution Strategy is here: River Mease Catchment Area (PDF Document, 6.24 Mb).

In order to speed up the process of drafting a legal agreement, we are also now asking for applications to be accompanied by a form providing us with information regarding the applicant’s solicitor’s details, title details etc (Legal Agreement Information for Unilateral Undertaking for River Mease DCS Contribution (Word Document, 0.1 Mb)).

Natural England have prepared a standing advice document which can be viewed at: River Mease Standing Advice - Advice to Local Planning Authorities - Natural England, January 2022 (PDF Document, 0.24 Mb). The purpose of this advice note is to provide information to help local planning authorities to determine planning applications within the River Mease catchment, but it can also be used to assist in preparing planning applications which may affected the River Mease SAC. This fourth issue replaces previous standing advice by updating the situation regarding the Developer Contribution Scheme (DCS) which has now reached its limit; provides information on recent rulings affecting Habitat Regulations; and provides details on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) provision.

*The River Mease Programme Board comprises of: The Environment Agency, Natural England, Severn Trent Water, North West Leicestershire District Council, South Derbyshire District Council and Lichfield District Council.

Last updated: Fri 5 August, 2022 @ 09:25