The Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation is a European-designated nature conservation site.

There are particular requirements for planning and how planning applications are assessed in order to help protect the nature conservation interests of Ashdown Forest.

Planning applications for residential development within 7km of Ashdown Forest will need to mitigate the potential impacts of the development to ensure the effects of any increase in visitors to Ashdown Forest are addressed.

This may involve payments towards both:

  • Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) - Contributions are used for the ongoing management and maintenance of a strategic SANG site. On larger development sites, a bespoke SANG could potentially be provided on the development site. 
  • Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) - A financial contribution towards SAMM will be used for ongoing visitor management projects and monitoring on Ashdown Forest in accordance with the SAMM Strategy. 

SANG capacity

The East Court & Ashplats Wood SANG has been operational since 2015 and has reached full capacity. There is no capacity for further development to be mitigated by the East Court & Ashplats Wood SANG.

The Council is introducing a new strategic SANG at Hill Place Farm. SANG mitigation for proposed residential development in future planning applications will need to be at this strategic SANG provided sufficient capacity is available and financial contributions will be for the Hill Place Farm SANG.

The table below shows the strategic SANGs that the Council uses as mitigation for new residential development and indicates their capacity status.

This information is provided for guidance purposes and you are advised that this information is subject to review and change.

If you have submitted a planning application that is pending determination, we will advise you regarding SANG mitigation for your proposed development.

The remaining capacity at the Hill Place Farm SANG will be assigned to development according to the SANG capacity prioritisation in the order that applications were validated. This includes planning applications and in the case of prior approvals, it will be the validation date for the Regulation 77 application under the Habitats Regulations that applies and not the initial application for prior approval.


Capacity Status - 1st April 2022

East Court & Ashplats Wood At full capacity
Hill Place Farm SANG Capacity available for allocations and windfall development


How much are the SANG and SAMM contributions?

Current as at: 1st September 2022

SAMM tariff £1,170 per unit

SAMM Strategy Tariff Guidance

Financial contributions to SANG mitigation are based on the costs for managing a SANG in perpetuity. The tariff for any new SANGs will be on a per unit basis for the reasons described in the SAMM Strategy Tariff Guidance.

Type of Development and Application of the SANG Contribution – This document sets out the general principles for how the SANG contribution will be applied to different types of development

Hill Place Farm SANG

£5,253 per unit


SANG Management £3,701

SANG Monitoring £233

Bluebell Railway Access Fee £1,319


Instruction forms and guidance templates

Please see the Apply for planning permission page and the Validation Criteria for details of what forms to include as part of a planning application.

If you are looking to undertake works under permitted development rights then please see the permitted development section

Legal document

The mitigation required will be secured in a legal document often known as a Section 106 planning obligation which will be drafted by our Legal Services team.

This is a legal document and you may want to take independent legal advice. The Council’s Legal Services team cannot provide you with legal advice.

Monitoring and legal costs will be levied.

Permitted development within the 7km zone around Ashdown Forest

Mitigation is required for the change of use of certain buildings to flats and dwelling houses under permitted development rights within the 7km zone around Ashdown Forest.

The permitted development rights must not be started until a written notice of approval has been received. To receive written approval you must:

Assessing planning applications for potential impact on the Ashdown Forest Special Area of Conservation

Each planning application needs to be assessed for its potential traffic impacts on the Ashdown Forest Special Area of Conservation.

We will undertake this assessment as part of the planning application process, however, additional traffic information may be required for some planning applications. You will be advised by us if this is the case for your proposed development and what information will be required.

Contact us

Development Management
Tel: 01444-477566


Last updated: 21 August 2023