As Rushmoor lies near the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, you may need planning consent for developments that don't normally need it.

The Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area is an area of heathland protected by European and UK law, under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.

The regulations relate to permitted development within 5km of the heathland. They mean that any development likely to have a significant effect on the protected habitat cannot take place without us giving planning consent or without the developer making satisfactory arrangements to address the requirements of the Habitats Regulations.

Exceptions to permitted development 

Planning permission is required for most developments that will increase the number of residential occupants.

This means you may need planning permission if you want to change the space above a shop into residential accommodation.

You may also need permission if you are proposing to change the use of a house into a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or office accommodation into residential units.

If you are considering any of these proposals, please seek early advice using the contact details below.

There's more information on submitting an application on our do I need planning permission? page.

Planning application fees

We don't charge fees when the proposals cover changes that wouldn't require planning permission in other areas.

SPA mitigation fees

We have adopted an Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy setting out the approach we will follow to reduce harm to the Thames Basin Heaths SPA from additional residential development. This involves two parts:

  • Provision of suitable alternative natural green space (SANG)
  • Provision of strategic access management and monitoring measures (SAMMS) to reduce the impact of visitors to the SPA

Where there is an impact on the heathland, developers will have to negotiate to contribute towards SANG provision. The financial contribution required will depend on the number of bedrooms created. For HMOs, each room is taken to be equivalent to a one bedroom house.  

For more information, visit the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area page.

Other exceptions (Article 4 directions)

In addition to the exceptions set out above, we have introduced a number of Article 4 directions.  Article 4 directions allow us to require planning permission for certain developments that would not otherwise need it, by removing permitted development rights. 

For more information, please visit our Article 4 directions and planning permission page.

The legislation supporting the information on this page

Detailed legislation supports the information on this page. If you would like more information, please contact the planning team using the contact details below.

Contact us

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