Toggle menu

Development affecting European nature conservation areas

If your development will have an adverse affect on a European nature conservation area, you are required to make a contribution to mitigate the impacts it has on these sites in accordance with Local Plan Policy ENV1.

The New Forest European and Solent Coast European sites include European nature conservation designations such as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs).  The list of the affected European sites is listed in Policy ENV1.

These sites are all protected by legislation and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 ('Habitats Regulations'). These seek to ensure that development proposals do not harm the protected sites.

On this page:

Requirements for habitat mitigation

Our adopted Supplementary Planning Document sets out a number of options to provide suitable recreational habitat mitigation.

You can read more about the strategy here:

If your scheme is for less than 50 houses, one option is to pay a financial contribution to us, in order to fund the projects set out in the strategy.

We will use your contribution to:

  • provide alternative natural green spaces and recreational routes
  • provide measures to manage the number of recreational visits to the New Forest European and Solent Coast European sites
  • provide measures to modify visitor behaviour within those sites to reduce harmful impact
  • monitor the impact of new development and establish a better evidence base.

The financial contribution must be secured either  by a legal agreement  or a  Unilateral Undertaking confirming that the above financial contribution will be paid. This can either be by way of  a S106 agreement (which will be dealt with by our legal department),  or you may submit a Unilateral Undertaking (UU). In the case of a UU payment in full of the total contribution by way of cleared funds must be made on completion of the UU and before permission is granted.   In the case of a S106 agreement, please advise us that you wish to proceed on this basis, along with your solicitor's details so that our legal team can be instructed.

If your scheme is for 50 or more dwellings you will have to provide mitigation land on-site. Here is a link to a calculator to give an indication of the likely size of this space: 

Air quality monitoring

Our local plan has identified potential for significant adverse effects of parts of the New Forest SPA and SAC from nitrogen deposition and ammonia, particularly near main road corridors through the New Forest in areas lacking screening woodlands.

We are required to monitor the effects of traffic emissions on these sensitive locations and therefore a contribution of £109 per additional dwelling in required.  This will be used to monitor the effects of traffic emissions on sensitive locations, to trigger management or mitigation measures if harmful effects are confirmed in the future.   

Please note this contribution is index linked annually from the 1 April in accordance with the retail price index.


Calculating your financial contribution

Our adopted strategy is based on additional new dwellings created and uses a sliding scale to calculate your financial contribution.

The scale is based on the number of bedrooms per individual additional new dwelling.  If a room fulfils the size requirements of a bedroom we will calculate the mitigation based on size of rooms rather than labels on floorplans.

Please refer to the tables below to calculate your financial contribution for each area and note that:

  • the number of bedrooms relates to the bedrooms within each individual additional new house proposed
  • the infrastructure element is that element that may be credited toward your CIL payment if this is higher
  • the non-infrastructure element is the amount that is fixed.
  • the air quality monitoring contribution is fixed.


Financial contributions payable towards recreational habitat mitigation 

If you have a planning application reference you can calculate and pay your financial contribution online.

If you don't have a planning reference number, or would just like to know the likely financial contribution for a proposal you can use the spreadsheet or tables below to work out the likely figure. 

Please note these contributions are index linked annually from the 1 April in accordance with the retail price index.

Habitat mitigation calcualtor (Excel doc) [15KB]

from 1 April 2024 the following contributions apply

Number of bedrooms

Infrastructure contribution

(only payable on developments of under 50 dwellings)

Total non-infrastructure contribution (of which £80 is towards the monitoring of the implementation of the mitigation strategy).





Four or more



Bird Aware Solent Contributions

In addition, if your development is within 5.6km of the Solent and Southampton Water SPA then the following contributions towards the Bird Aware Solent scheme will be payable.  You can find out if your site is within this area using our interactive map and selecting local knowledge or that the link below.

Number of bedroomsBird Aware Contribution (from 1 April 2024)







Five or more




Example of contribution requirements 

This example assumes a development of four dwellings, outside of the Solent area, and that these are:

  • two two-bedroom dwellings
  • two three-bedroom dwellings

The calculations using the current contribution figures would be as follows

Two-bedroom dwellings: 2 x (£4,434 + £693 = £5,127) = £10,254

Three-bedroom dwellings: 2 x (£6,583 + £956 = £7,539) = £15,078

Air Quality Monitoring: 4 x £109 = £436

Sub-total: £25,768

If a unilateral undertaking is submitted:

Plus £75 checking fee - if a Unilateral Undertaking is used, otherwise additional legal fees will be incurred

Total: £25,843

CIL for development = £50,000

Credit towards CIL = £22,034 (£4,434 x 2 + £6,583 x 2)

CIL remaining to pay in accordance with payment schedule = £27,966

Should this example have taken place within the Solent SPA area then an additional contribution of £3,092‬ would also be payable (£671 x 2 and £875 x 2) to Bird Aware Solent.


Completing a unilateral undertaking

If the only planning obligations to be secured are habitat mitigation and air quality monitoring then it is possible for you to complete a Unilateral Undertaking. Click below for further information.

The UU must be submitted to us together with:

  • a red line plan
  • your financial contribution
  • a checking fee of £75. 

Please do not amend the text of the main agreement and please send in a draft unsigned version for checking first.

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email