All new residential development within the zones of influence of the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation (SAC) will need to provide payment towards avoidance and mitigation measures in relation to recreational impact upon the SAC.
The London Borough of Redbridge will charge a fee of £255.84* per dwelling for all new residential development within the 6.2km Epping Forest SAC mitigation buffer, plus an appropriate administration fee. The fee will be determined depending on the type of application and the amount of residential units proposed.
An Epping Forest SAC Mitigation Payment Letter will be sent to applicants with further information.
Strategic Access Management Measures (SAMMs)
The Council has a legal duty to ensure that planning application decisions comply with the Habitats and Conservation of Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) to protect the integrity of Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Local Authorities falling within the recreational Zone of Influence are required to collect financial planning obligations for Strategic Access Management Measures (SAMMs) and Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANGs) measures to mitigate the harmful impacts by visitors to Epping Forest SAC.
The relevant Local Authorities, City of London Corporation & Conservators of Epping Forest and Natural England have developed a final SAMMs mitigation strategy and new payment tariff. This tariff incorporates the proportion of recreational pressure from visitors (from a 2019 visitor survey and future visitors from new residential developments) and forecasted housing figures. It also accounts for 80 years in perpetuity costs for the SAMMs measures.
Following Cabinet approval on 8 March 2022, the Council is applying the Epping Forest SAC SAMMs tariff of £255.84* per new unit across the 0-6.2km Zone of Influence of Epping Forest in Redbridge, in addition to an administration fee (see below). The tariff is applicable to decisions for all new residential units approved (on grant of planning permission) from 1 April 2022 onwards.
The administration fee is currently £90 per application, however for major developments where the SAMMs payments are secured via S106 agreements, a monitoring administration fee is applied which is 5% of the chargeable amount of the Epping Forest SAC, or £90, whichever is higher. This administration fee is added to the S106 Monitoring Fee to cover the cost of monitoring and reporting on delivery of that Section 106 obligation. The administration fee may be reviewed by the Council in the future.
*The tariff is subject to annual inflation and change following annual review.
Supplementary Information to Cabinet report
Final draft governance agreement
Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANGs)
The Council currently requires major developments over 100 units which fall within the 0 – 6.2km Zone of Influence to pay for a package of SANGs measures within Redbridge.
For further information, please see Redbridge's Planning Obligations SPD (PDF 4.0 MB)