Protect Ashdown Forest

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The Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area and Special Area of ​​Conservation is a European designated nature conservation site.

In order to help protect the nature conservation interests of Ashdown Forest, there are special planning requirements and the assessment of planning applications.

Planning applications for all residential developments within 7km of Ashdown Forest are required to mitigate potential impacts from development to ensure the effects of any increased visitor numbers to Ashdown Forest are taken into account.

Large-scale or more unusual developments near the 7 km zone may also need to be assessed to see if they should mitigate the effects of the proposed development.

This may involve payments for both:

  • Appropriate Natural Alternative Green Spaces (SANG) – Contributions are used for the ongoing management and maintenance of strategic SANG sites. These are located in various districts around Ashdown Forest. At larger development sites, a bespoke BLOOD could potentially be provided at the development site.
  • Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Strategy (SAMMS) – A financial contribution to SAMMS will be used for ongoing visitor management projects and monitoring of Ashdown Forest in accordance with the SAMM Strategy.

Further details of Ashdown Forest and how it may affect development as well as a map showing the area affected by the 7km zone can be found in local submission plan policy EN11 Ashdown Forest.

Further details of the approach Council has taken to Ashdown Forest and the approach to planning applications are set out in Practice Note 2022.

Further details of the types of development that attract SAMMS and SANGS payments are set out in the Ashdown Forest Fee Schedule.

BLOODS

When a contribution is due for BLOOD, the Board will use it to contribute to the supply of BLOOD within the SAMMs partnership and will then collect the amount required by the district that has agreed to supply the BLOOD. Currently this is estimated to be around £5,000 per accommodation, but this amount will be subject to confirmation when applying for planning.

SAMS

When a contribution is to be made to SAMMS, the Commission will apply the rate in effect at the time of the application. Pricing is set and agreed upon by the SAMMS partnership but may be revised from time to time to reflect changes in SAMM strategy costs, the proposed level of development and the results of any follow-up. Currently the SAMM rate is £1170 per unit, but this will need to be confirmed at the time of any enquiry.

Legal document

The required mitigation will be secured in a legal document often known as a Section 106 Planning Obligation which will be drafted by our Legal Services team.

This is a legal document and you may want to take independent legal advice. The Council’s Legal Services team cannot provide you with legal advice.

Follow-up and legal costs will be levied.

Background information

Contact us

Planning policy
E-mail:
planningpolicy@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

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