Heathlands Policy

Dorset Heathlands SPD manages development and protects the environment

Dorset Heathlands Planning Framework SPD 2020-2025

The Dorset Heathlands Planning Framework 2020 - 2025 Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted by BCP Council on 31 March 2020 and came into immediate effect. The SPD is accompanied by an Adoption Statement, a Reference List and a Consultation Report.

The SPD sets out a strategy under which planning applications for residential development can be determined and avoid adverse effects on the integrity of the Dorset Heathlands, for example, mitigating the impact of additional visitors to heathlands that can cause disturbance to protected birds.

Residential development within 400 metres of the heathlands is strictly controlled. Natural England have provided detailed maps showing a 400 metre zone around the protected heathland sites.

Mitigation is necessary between 400 metres and 5km of the heathland. This is through Heathland Infrastructure Projects (HIPs) and Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM). HIPs are usually secured through the payment of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) but SAMMs are secured by planning obligation.

The cost of delivering SAMM for BCP Council is

  • £394 per house
  • £269 per flat

The contribution is payable through Section 106 Agreements or Unilateral Undertaking, together with an administration fee of 5% of the total contribution payable on commencement of development. The administration payments are subject to a minimum charge of £75 and capped to a limit of £1,000 per contribution type. Please refer to the Developer Contributions page for Forms for Section 106 Agreements.

Maps of Heathlands and 400m buffer zone