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Current Identified Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Mitigation Rates

Mitigation Strategies

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) refers to the several distinct stages of Assessment which must be undertaken in accordance with the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) and the Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) to determine if a plan or project may affect the protected features of a habitats site before deciding whether to undertake, permit or authorise it. European Sites and European Offshore Marine Sites identified under these regulations are now referred to as ‘habitats sites’ in the National Planning Policy Framework and accompanying planning policy guidance.

'Habitats Sites' consist of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) as well as the globally important wetlands known as Ramsar sites. The network of these internationally recognised sites are of exceptional importance in respect of rare, endangered or vulnerable natural habitats and species within Europe and beyond.

Mitigation measures comprise:

• SAMMS (Strategic Access Management and Monitoring); and
• Off-site infrastructure (including SANGs – ‘Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace’).

These two approaches would complement each other.

SAMM measures are required to address recreation impacts and make the SAC more resilient to any increased recreation. SAMM measures generally comprise: dedicated staff; signs and interpretation; education & awareness raising; parking and travel related measures and; monitoring. 

SANG are created, or existing greenspaces enhanced, in order to absorb the level of additional recreation pressure associated with new development. Some projects will be expected to be delivered directly by developers through on-site provision.

SANG payments do not apply to the Rodborough Common SAC.

Elsewhere, where a contribution is collected for off-site SANG provision, this will be at a standard rate of £480 per Dwelling. Where zones of influence overlap, e.g. the Cotswolds Beechwoods and the Severn Estuary, multiple SANG payments per dwelling will not be necessary for each mitigation strategy. The Council consider SANG provision on a District wide basis.

Current Identified Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Mitigation Rates:

Rodborough Common SAC 


Cotswold Beechwoods SAC


Severn Estuary SAC 2017 (Applications submitted before 1 June 2024)


Severn Estuary SAC 2024 (Applications submitted after 31 May 2024)

*£100.00 administration fee to be introduced to applications submitted after 1 January 2024



Planning obligations can be paid on our website:

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Payments must be made against a Demand Notice. Please do make make a payment unless instructed to do so. Please notify the Collections Officer via email once you have made this payment to ensure your payment is verified and discharged.


Habitats sites in Stroud District and within 15km of Gloucestershire

  • Rodborough Common SAC - (Stroud)
  • Dixton Wood SAC - (Tewkesbury)
  • Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Bat Sites SAC - (Forest of Dean, Monmouthshire)
  • River Wye SAC - (Forest of Dean, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, Powys)
  • Wye Valley Woodlands SAC - (Forest of Dean, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire)
  • North Meadow and Clattinger Farm SAC - (Wiltshire)
  • Cotswold Beechwoods SAC - (Cotswold)
  • Bredon Hill SAC - (Worcestershire)
  • Walmore Common SPA - (Tewkesbury)
  • Severn Estuary SPA - (Stroud, Forest of Dean)

All plans and projects (including planning applications) require consideration of whether the plan or project is likely to have significant effects on habitats sites. This consideration –referred to as the ‘Habitats Regulations Assessment screening’ – should take into account the potential effects both of the plan/project itself and in combination with other plans or projects. Where the potential for likely significant effects cannot be excluded, the Council must make an appropriate assessment of the implications of the plan or project for that site, in view the site’s conservation objectives. The Council may agree to the plan or project only after having ruled out adverse effects on the integrity of the habitats site. Where it cannot be concluded that there will be no adverse effects on a site’s integrity, there is a need to consider mitigation. The Local Plan Review Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) 2021 identified where significant effects could not be excluded and the potential impact pathways.

As a consequence of HRA work including visitor surveys, mitigation measures were identified. The following strategies are intended to avoid or reduce any direct adverse effects that may be caused by a plan or project and seeks to ensure no adverse effect on the integrity of habitats site(s).

Guidance on the use of and completion of s.106 agreement are provided in the habitats site(s) overview that follow below. In addition template agreements to be completed by the site developer are provided. Larger strategic scale developments will usually be expected to address any mitigation matters within their proposed development site.

Mitigation Strategy Project Funding bids

The Council in fulfilling its HRA responsibilities identified in the adopted mitigation strategies, encourage greater cooperation with stakeholder groups and organisations. To this end, the Council has produced a Recreation and Mitigation Strategy Bid Proforma. This should enable funding of appropriate projects to manage recreational pressures, to be considered by the Council. Such bids will be carefully considered against the projects identified in the relevant mitigation strategy and will be subject to available funding resources and other project commitments. 

This Bid proforma should be submitted to Planning Strategy Team at Stroud District Council. Fully completed forms with supporting documentation should be submitted by email to Stroud District Councils Local Plans team at 



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