An inspector has allowed an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a house within 5km of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, after accepting the appellant’s clever solution to dealing with the restrictions applying to CIL contributions towards Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) (DCS Number 400-013-309).
Mitigation measures are normally required in the form of contributions towards SANG in order to ensure that recreational pressure from additional development does not have any significant effect on the special interest features of the SPA. Under Regulation 123 of the CIL Regulations, however, a planning obligation may not be taken into account if it would fund an infrastructure project for which there are already five or more obligations.
A unilateral undertaking was before the inspector which provided for a contribution towards the ongoing maintenance and enhancement of SANG. She noted that provision of SANG is usually caught by the pooling restriction under Regulation 123(3) of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010. However, given that the contribution was towards ongoing maintenance and enhancement she was satisfied that this did not apply.
The contribution would meet the tests in Regulation 122(2) of CIL in that it was necessary, directly related to the development, and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind, she determined. In light of this conclusion the proposal made adequate provision to mitigate any effects on the Special Protection Area, she decided.
If you find that there is no room for you to make provision towards SANG, therefore, see what the situation is with regard to maintenance.
The following DCP chapter is relevant: 4.61