Statutory limit on planning obligations exceed level to mitigate ecological harm

The erection of a single dwelling in Surrey could not be permitted, an inspector held, because a planning obligation which made a contribution towards mitigating the impact on the Thames Basin Heaths special protection area had to be disregarded because it breached regulation 123(3) of the Community Infrastructure Regulations 2015.

The regulation restricted the pooling of more than five planning obligations towards any infrastructure project and the submitted obligation sought to make improvements to an area of suitable alternative natural greenspace. The problem, however, was that the council already had secured more than five pooled contributions towards the improvements and consequently the inspector could not take into account that now planned by the appellant. In the absence of suitable mitigation the scheme would harm the special protection area.

Inspector: Lucy Gibbons; Written representations

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