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 our SANG site at East Court & Ashplats Wood. On larger sites, a bespoke SANG could potentially be provided on the development site itself. If you would like to explore this option of a bespoke SANG, please read the SANG guidance for more information and then contact us to discuss further.  
  • 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.

How much are the SANG and SAMM contributions?

Number of bedrooms












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 templates

We have produced template documents for guidance purposes and to provide an indication of the likely format of the legal document, but the final drafting will be carried out by our Legal Services team.

These are legal documents 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: 02 December 2020