Proposals to make more developers pay towards protecting Cannock Chase have been approved by senior councillors in Stafford Borough.
The new scheme could raise more than £6 million for enhancements to the area of outstanding natural beauty.
Currently any development within eight kilometres of the Cannock Chase Special Area of Conservation (SAC) has to contribute money to alleviate the pressure on sensitive parts of this popular area.
The plans agreed by the Borough Council’s cabinet on Thursday (13th) will see the boundary line for contributions almost double. It would mean any houses being built within 15 kilometres would be liable for a payment towards the work of the Cannock Chase Special Area of Conservation (SAC) partnership - which is a collaboration between councils.
The funds would be earmarked for improving footpaths, bike trails, upgrading car parks and providing better visitor information.
The report to the cabinet said that “the new developer contribution charge of £290.58 per dwelling unit is brought into effect from 1 April 2022 to mitigate for new residential proposals in Stafford Borough within a 0-15 km Zone of Influence from the Cannock Chase Special Area of Conservation boundary.”
To see the full cabinet report go to Cabinet | Stafford Borough Council (staffordbc.gov.uk)
A similar report will be going before the other local authorities covering the SAC.
Councillor Mike Smith, Deputy Leader at Stafford Borough Council, said: “We are fortunate to have an area of internationally important heathland on our doorstep and these proposals will help the partners in the SAC to protect, conserve and restore this beautiful area.”
Councillor Smith continued: “The Chase has grown in popularity and will continue to do so. As well as being an area of outstanding natural beauty Cannock Chase provides a benefit to the physical and mental health of many residents and visitors.
“It is right that, with an increase in homes being built and therefore more people living in the borough, developers make a contribution to help protect and preserve the more sensitive areas.
“That work will include improving footpaths, introducing appropriate bike trails, upgrading car parks and providing more visitor information.”
Press Release No 5848