Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC) - Mitigation Strategy
At a meeting held on 15 November 2022, Cabinet approved the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation Mitigation Strategy. It also approved two Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) Management Plans for Bunkers Park and Chipperfield Common.
The new Mitigation Strategy sets out targeted measures to protect the site and to accommodate the predicted pressures associated with future growth within the 12.6-kilometre Zone of Influence that extends from Ashridge Commons and Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These measures will be delivered through a range of projects by the National Trust over a period of around 80 years (to 2102-2103).
The National Trust has confirmed that these Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMMS) measures will cost a total of £18.2million. This cost will be shared across all of the affected local authorities. In Dacorum, this means that developers will be required to pay a tariff of £913.88 for each new home built.
To help to reduce recreational pressures on Ashridge Commons and Woods, alternative green spaces need to be identified. All new developments within the Zone of Influence will need to make provision for a new Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG), or alternatively contribute towards the maintenance of a suitable SANG project elsewhere.
Larger developments (10 or more new homes) must be located close to a suitable SANG. Smaller developments can contribute towards an existing SANG. We have so far identified Bunkers Park and Chipperfield Common as SANGs. Developers that are unable to provide a suitable new SANG will be required to make a payment to us towards the long-term management and maintenance of these sites, which equates to £4,251.71 per new home.
While we’ve been preparing the Mitigation Strategy, decisions on some planning applications have been delayed. We will be engaging with those affected shortly.
Frequently asked questions and Zones of Influence maps are available on our Chilterns Beechwoods SAC home page.