Investigating mitigation measures related to new residential development in the Hart, Rushmoor and Surrey Heath areas.

Hart District Council, Rushmoor Borough Council and Surrey Heath Borough Council (HRSH) are part of a wider group of 11 local authorities affected by the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (TBH SPA).

Further information can be found on the Thames Basin Heaths Partnership website.

The current approach to avoid and mitigate the impacts of new housing development within 400m to 5km of the TBH SPA was originally set out within the and further detailed in the TBH SPA Delivery Framework in 2009. The main measures required by developments include provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) and contributions to access management, which is delivered through the Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) project.

Hart, Rushmoor and Surrey Heath Councils form part of the HRSH Housing Market Area (HMA) with 86% of the HMA within the 5km zone (where SANG and SAMM is required). We have worked collaboratively to deliver access to cross boundary SANG solutions. However, there are many constraints to delivering development and new SANGs in the HMA area. Opportunities for delivering SANG are reducing and we are concerned that that the current approach to avoidance and mitigation could result in significant difficulties in delivering net new residential development in parts of the HMA.

As a result, the three councils were awarded funding by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) under the Joint Working Planning Delivery Fund to undertake joint work to investigate alternative and complementary avoidance and mitigation measures, which could be delivered in order to mitigate net new residential development within the HRSH HMA.

The findings of this project are set out in the HRSH SPA Mitigation Project Report (January 2021). This report is supported by a collection of evidence/background studies which have been prepared alongside the main report on the HRSH SPA Project. The full set of published reports are set out below:


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