A new Cannock Chase Special Area of Conservation (SAC) planning contributions system came into effect on 1 April 2022.

Cabinet approved this on 23 February Agenda for Cabinet on Wednesday, 23rd February, 2022, 5.00 pm : Wolverhampton City Council (moderngov.co.uk).

This requirement sits under Policy ENV1: Nature Conservation of the adopted Black Country Core Strategy, which states that: “Development within the Black Country will safeguard nature conservation inside and outside its boundaries by ensuring that development is not permitted where it would harm internationally (Special Areas of Conservation), nationally (Sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserves) or regionally (Local Nature Reserve and Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation) designated nature conservation sites”

And the supporting text in para 6.4:

“The development of housing with its associated population growth may lead to indirect adverse impacts on Cannock Chase SAC. This is likely to be caused by increased visitor activities on Cannock Chase and is the subject of ongoing research. Depending on the outcome of this research, development plans and proposals may be required to demonstrate appropriate and proportionate measures sufficient to avoid or mitigate significant identified adverse impacts. Guidance may be given through subsequent local development plan documents.”

Planning Guidance and FAQs, which can be downloaded on this page, have been produced to help implement the system.

The system will affect developments which meet all of the following criteria:

  • The development is located within 15 km of Cannock Chase Special Area of Conservation (see map below)
  • The development will create 1 or more new homes (including Houses in Multiple Occupation and some older persons housing) or otherwise potentially increase the number of visitors to Cannock Chase SAC e.g. hotels
  • The planning application or prior approval application for the development was submitted on or after 1 April 2022

The system will also apply to prior approvals, such as conversion of offices into new homes.

Map

The contribution payable is £290.58 per home and is non-negotiable, even for reasons of viability.  This is because mitigating harm to SACs is a legal requirement. The contribution will increase in line with inflation each 1 April.”

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