A small area of Cannock Chase is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The Cannock Chase SAC is one of the best areas in the UK for European dry heath land and is the most extensive in the Midlands region.
An Appropriate Assessment has been carried out with regard to the Plan for Stafford Borough.
- Evidence base Relating to the Cannock Chase SAC and the Appropriate Assessment of Local Authority Core Strategies
Several evidence documents were produced as part of the Habitats Regulation Assessment, which consider the impacts of new development on the Cannock Chase SAC:
- Cannock Chase SAC Visitor Survey
- Cannock Chase SAC Visitor Survey Map Annex
- Cannock Chase SAC Visitor Observation Study
- Impacts of Recreation on Cannock Chase SAC
- Cannock Chase SAC Visitor Impact Mitigation Report
- Cannock Chase SAC Local Plan Habitat Regulations Assessment Addendum
The evidence shows that any development which would increase the human population, tourism or visitor use within 15km of the Cannock Chase SAC may have a significant impact on the site. The Council is part of a SAC Partnership, which works together to prevent damage to the SAC. The SAC Partnership's Memorandum of Understanding can be found here. Other members of the Partnership include Natural England, Staffordshire County Council, Cannock Chase District Council, Lichfield District Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, South Staffordshire District Council, Forestry Commission, and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership.
The Council must ensure that decisions made on planning applications will not have a negative impact on Cannock Chase SAC, in line with Policy N6 of the Plan for Stafford Borough. If there are any potential negative impacts, the Council must either refuse development, or ensure there are appropriate mitigation measures in place.
Applicants seeking planning permission for 10 or more new dwellings within 8km of Cannock Chase SAC should download and complete the Statement of Willingness Form and provide it to the council along with all other requested documents when submitting their planning application. Submission of this document displays to the council and Natural England the applicants willingness to provided an appropriate financial contribution to mitigate any harm the development will cause to Cannock Chase SAC.
Completion and submission of the Statement of Willingness Form will insure that the application is determined as expediently and possible and will not suffer any delay due to its impact on Cannock Chase SAC.
The Council has produced Guidance to mitigate the impact of new residential development and further information for developers, providing advice on a number of Frequently Asked Questions. For additional advice on issues not covered within the FAQ document please contact the Forward Plans Team using the details above.