Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area

There is a need to balance residential development against safeguarding the habitats of protected bird species on the Thames Basin Heaths.

Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area

The Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (TBH SPA) includes areas of heathland across Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.

The special protection area has been identified as an internationally-important habitat for three rare species of bird - the dartford warbler, woodlark and nightjar.

Natural England has advised that residential development within five kilometres of the special protection area may result in harm to these bird species. This means we can only grant planning permission for new residential development where there would be no likelihood of significant impact on the special protection area, taking into account proposed mitigation or avoidance measures.

Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy

We have published an pdf icon Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy 2021 [5Mb] that enables residential development to take place in Rushmoor, which the special protection area legislation would otherwise prevent. This document was updated in April 2021 to reflect annual inflation price increases for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) capacity for the 2020/21 financial year. The Joint Strategic Partnership Board decided to increase the Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) tariff by 26.5% on the 1 April 2021.

We will consider all residential planning applications against the requirements of the Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (as amended) and Policy NE1 of the Rushmoor Local Plan (adopted February 2019).

We are continuing to work other councils and Natural England to create further opportunities for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) provision. As these arise, we will update the Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy

 
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