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Pay for a Habitats Regulations Mitigation Package

The Portsmouth Plan's Greener Portsmouth policy sets out how Portsmouth City Council will ensure that the European-designated nature conservation sites along the Solent coast will continue to be protected. The city council is part of the Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership which has been setup to coordinate efforts from local authorities to ensure that the Special Protection Areas along the Solent continue to be protected.

The Solent Special Protection Areas Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted on 16 April 2014. It has been identified that any development in the city which is residential in nature will result in a significant effect on the Special Protection Areas (SPAs) along the Solent coast. The SPD sets out how development schemes can provide a mitigation package to remove this effect and enable the development to go forward in compliance with the Habitats Regulations.

Please note that from April 2017, the total cost of the mitigation framework has risen to £181 per net additional dwelling. This is in line with the Retail Price Index

If the housing scheme would have required a legal agreement anyway (such as for affordable housing) then the provision of mitigation will be included in that. For all other schemes, applicants have the option of securing the mitigation package which will be needed through either a direct payment secured through a Section 111 Agreement or a Unilateral Undertaking.

If you would like to use a Section 111 Agreement, you can find the form below along with a guidance note on how to complete it and pay for the mitigation package together with an example of a filled in Section 111 agreement. Two original, completed and signed copies of the agreement should be submitted with your planning application or as soon as possible afterwards. The easiest way to pay for the mitigation package is online with a debit card. Follow the link to our payments page, click 'planning' and choose 'Habitats Regulations Mitigation Package' from the drop-down list.

Alternatively, the template Unilateral Undertaking can be completed and submitted. Applicants should download the relevant template from the two available below, complete it and submit it with the planning application. There is also a guidance note on the checking service which we offer for the Unilateral Undertakings. Please note that there is an administrative charge for the checking service.

Permitted Development Rights and compliance with the Habitats Regulations

The General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) allows for the change of use of some buildings and land to Class C3 (dwellinghouses) with this development subject to a prior approval process. However the Habitats Regulations also apply to such developments. The council is obliged by the regulations to assume that there will be a significant effect on the Solent SPAs.

Any development for prior approval should also be accompanied by an application for the city council to do a Habitats Regulations Assessment on the proposed development (please note there is a £30 fee for this). The development will need to include a mitigation package to remove the significant effect on the Solent SPAs which new residential development would otherwise result in.

More detail about how this can be done is in the Solent Special Protection Areas Supplementary Planning Document. The mitigation package can be secured using the template 'unilateral undertaking for GPDO developments' or a direct payment through a Section 111 Agreement.

If you have any general queries about the SPD please email planningpolicy@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or call us on 023 9268 8633. If you have a query about the SPD in relation to a specific development, please contact the relevant case officer.

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