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Mitigation Options under the Joint Interim Approach.

The Joint Interim Approach to securing recreation mitigation was adopted on 3rd April 2012 and will apply pending adoption of the final contribution/zoning details in Autumn 2012.

The Joint Interim Approach detail is as follows:

The requirement for mitigation will apply to:

  • Housing and tourist accommodation applications
  • Within 10km of the Exe Estuary SPA boundaries
  • All sizes of application from 1 unit upwards

The need for mitigation will apply to all forms of housing/ tourist accommodation including:

  • Hotels, guest houses, lodges, static caravans & touring pitches
  • Affordable housing
  • Student accommodation
  • Residential caravans/mobile homes/park homes
  • Housing for the 'mobile' elderly
  • BUT NOT care homes for elderly or infirm with significantly reduced mobility

Also for clarification:

  • Where units already exist on the site, the net additional units will contribute
  • Applications to split one unit into two will contribute for the additional unit
  • Applications to increase the operating period of tourist accommodation will contribute for the additional period
  • Applications to convert holiday to residential will be assessed on a case by case basis
  • BUT extensions to existing houses will NOT be asked to contribute
  • Renewals of existing permissions issued will also be required to provide mitigation, as the 2010-2012 suite of evidence constitutes a material change since permission was granted

Type of mitigation.

  • The developer may choose to pay the standard Habitat Mitigation Contribution or may choose to propose alternative mitigation.
  • The size of the standard Habitat Mitigation Contribution is:
    • £350 per house (index linked)
    • For tourist accommodation the contribution will be calculated on a case by case basis by the Council, depending on the type, location and seasonality of the accommodation.
    • A fee of £50 will also be charged to cover legal and administration costs)
    • The standard contribution is in addition to making the standard Public Open Space provision required for the development.
  • If the developer chooses to make the standard Habitat Mitigation Contribution, the Council will make a brief Appropriate Assessment of whether this would provide sufficient mitigation for recreational impacts.
  • In a few special cases, where there will be a big impact, the standard mitigation may be insufficient and additional mitigation may be required. The Council will discuss this with the applicant. There may also be instances where the likely harm cannot be sufficiently mitigated and refusal will be necessary.
  • If the developer offers alternative mitigation, the Council will have to undertake a full Appropriate Assessment to check that the measures offered are adequate. This is potentially a lengthy process and the AA may find that the alternative mitigation offered is insufficient.
  • Alternative mitigation could be provision of a Suitable Alternative Natural Green space (SANGS), in addition to the standard POS provision. There are strict size and quality requirements for SANGS: a SANGS site must be at least 2ha in size and at least 8ha/1,000 new residents. It should be within 300m of the development. It must be of a particular countryside-landscape character, with an adequate level of facilities for recreational use and with provision for ongoing management. The Council's Biodiversity Officer can advise further.
  • Or the developer may propose other mitigation, but as with SANGS this is likely to be expensive (e.g. providing an alternative water sports facility away from the estuary).

Page last updated on 31 July 2014