Special areas of conservation (SACs) mitigation requirements
Cannock Chase SAC
We have a duty under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (Habitat Regulations) to ensure that planning application decisions do not result in adverse effects on the integrity of Cannock Chase special area of conservation (SAC).
Evidence produced to inform local plan strategy policy NR7 shows that any development proposals that involve the net increase of one or more dwellings within a 15km radius of Cannock Chase SAC would have an adverse effect unless mitigation measures are in place.
New Cannock Chase SAC mitigation requirements
The Council is part of a SAC Partnership, which works together to prevent damage to the SAC - read the SAC Partnership's Memorandum of Understanding.
Other members of the Partnership include Natural England, Staffordshire County Council, Cannock Chase District Council, Stafford Borough Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, South Staffordshire District Council, Forestry Commission, and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership.
We have a duty to ensure that planning application decisions comply with the habitats regulations. Local plan policy NR7 safeguards the Cannock Chase SAC, which has been designated for its unique heathland habitat.
Applications determined on or after 1 April 2022 which fall within the 15km radius of the zone of influence for the Cannock Chase SAC will need to provide mitigation.
The types of development affected include new homes including those arising through the conversion of existing buildings, houses in multiple occupation, sheltered accommodation and care homes falling within use class C3 and gypsy and traveller pitches. Hotels, holiday lets, and camping & caravan sites will also need to undertake a habitats regulations assessment (HRA) or provide a financial contribution, if they could generate visitors to Cannock Chase SAC.
For all payments agreed / made between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024 Lichfield District Council (LDC) will require a payment of £329.83 for each net new dwelling (plus a 5% monitoring fee) created through development within 15km of Cannock Chase SAC .
This figure will be subject to an annual increase which will apply each 1 April from 2024 onwards, in line with the All Items Group (Item reference CHAW) of the Retail Prices Index published by HM Government Office for National Statistics. LDC will also make a £179 charge for the administration costs of entering into the relevant legal agreement required to secure this financial contribution as appropriate. A draft unilateral agreement must accompany all planning applications where required (With Mortgage) (Wthout Mortgage)
River Mease SAC mitigation
We are part of a developer contribution strategy (DCS) to mitigate for the impact on the water quality of the River Mease special area of conservation (SAC).
For further information regarding how nutrient neutrality affects the planning process within the River Mease catchment area, please see our River Mease pages.
Natural England published standing advice for the River Mease SAC in January 2022.
Further information can be accessed via the frequently asked questions document prepared by the River Mease Partnership.
For more information on the River Mease SAC, please see the River Mease website.
For more information on other planning obligations/mitigations, please contact the Section 106 team.