Consultation on draft Revised Habitat Mitigation Scheme
The consultation has now closed – see update below for the next steps.
Over half the New Forest National Park is internationally protected because of its rare habitats and wildlife, the highest proportion of land of any planning authority in England.
It has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA).
Evidence gathered as part of the Local Plan review concluded that all new residential development and visitor accommodation throughout the National Park will need mitigation for their recreational impacts on these internationally designated sites. Further background information about the recreational impacts from new development on the internationally designated nature conservation sites of the New Forest can be found here.
In early 2020 we consulted on our revised draft Habitat Mitigation Scheme Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which sets out a package of measures to mitigate these impacts.
This draft SPD provides:
- guidance on implementing Policy SP5 of the adopted Local Plan: Nature conservation sites of international importance
- outlines how a financial contribution to this revised Scheme will in most cases secure mitigation measures to comply with the requirements of the Habitats Regulations and avoid recreational impacts affecting the integrity of the designated sites
- revises the existing 2012 Habitat Mitigation Scheme. The revisions reflect the higher level of development planned in the new Local Plan; recognise that mitigation is required for the lifetime of the development; and include the latest evidence on mitigating impact.
- The draft Revised Habitat Mitigation Scheme SPD
National Planning Regulations also required us to publish:
All of the representations made during the six-week consultation period have been considered. The final revised SPD will be considered by National Park Authority members at the next available meeting. In the meantime, we would highlight that the Authority resolved to implement the revised contribution figures with immediate effect in December 2019. This was in line with Natural England’s advice.