Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace

Suitable Natural Greenspace

The Thames Basin Heath (TBH) Special Protection Area (SPA) Avoidance Strategy ​Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) advises that it will usually be possible for developments of fewer than 136 net dwellings to take up capacity at Council-provided SANGs, subject to availability. In addition, larger developments in the Western Urban Area (the settlement areas of Camberley, Frimley, Frimley Green and Mytchett), that are unable to realistically provide land for SANGs may also be able to use capacity at strategic SANGs. This approach may also apply to sites outside this area that have particular, site-specific circumstances which support the need for off-site SANGs provision, subject to the availability of SANG capacity. The table below includes the SANGs that the Council uses for allocating new residential development, indicating their capacity status.

It should be noted that this is for guidance purposes only and it is still advisable that anyone considering submitting a planning application for residential development contacts the Council before plans and other documentation are prepared.

Name of SANG

Capacity Status

Blackwater Park

Full

Chobham Place Woods

Full

Windlemere 

Capacity Available

Chobham Meadows

Capacity Available

Hawley Meadows

Very Limited Capacity available

Shepherd Meadows

Limited Capacity available

Swan Lakes

Full

Location of SANGs and their Catchment Areas

Location of SANGs and their Catchment Areas

The planning application process for sites requiring SANG capacity

Usually applications for new development are assigned SANG capacity upon their validation, with exception for Prior Approvals. In the event that an application benefiting from SANG capacity is refused planning permission, the SANG capacity will be withdrawn from that application and re-allocated to applications without capacity, where possible. In the event that capacity does not become available during the course of the determination of an application, the Council will need to have regard to the SANG situation at the time the application is determined. The Council will not delay the determination of planning applications pending the introduction of new SANG. If a refused application is subsequently appealed and capacity is available at the time that the appeal is submitted, capacity will be re-assigned. If no capacity is available, an Inspector will have to have regard to the SANG situation at the time the appeal is heard.

As of the 1st August 2019, the Council reduced the time period for which a planning application is valid from three years to one year for all applications involving net new residential development. The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) Section 91, provides local planning authorities with this flexibility. In specific cases, for example larger development proposals in excess of 100 units, discretion will be applied by the case officer in determining whether it is appropriate for a one year expiration of planning permission to be applied. The change in the time period for which the planning permission is valid will not be applied to development proposals providing their own SANG.

For Prior Approvals it is not possible to limit the approval to a year. However, as the landowner of strategic SANGs, SANG capacity will only be allocated to applications for Prior Approval (relating to a net increase in residential development) upon receipt of the application for release of the Habitats Regulations (under section 77 of The Conservation of Habitats and species Regulations 2017), which will need to be facilitated through a section 106 agreement with the condition included that capacity will only be available for a year (in which period the development will need to commence). If the application has not commenced within this time, the capacity will no longer be reserved for the Prior Approval.

For information regarding SANG contributions as well as Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) monies, please refer to the Community Infrastructure Levy Guidance.