Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation

Epping Forest is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, and a portion is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

New residential developments can result in an increase in the number of visitors to Epping Forest. So, if you're planning works in the London Borough of Enfield which are within 6.2km of the Epping Forest SAC recreational zone of influence, we're likely to charge a fee per dwelling for all new residential development. This fee helps to mitigate the disturbance issues caused by increased visitor numbers.

Please note - these fees are subject to indexation and may increase annually. There is also an additional administrative charge applied per application.

Strategic Access Management Measures

SACs are internationally important areas given special protection under the EU’s Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) which is transposed into UK law by the Conservation and Habitats of Species Regulations 2017 as amended (known as the Habitats Regulations).

The Epping Forest SAC lies within Epping Forest District Council, the London Borough of Waltham Forest and the London Borough of Redbridge administrative areas. These 3 local authorities have a duty as a ‘competent authority’ under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, to ensure that planning application decisions comply with those regulations and do not result in adverse effects on the integrity of the Epping Forest SAC.

Local authorities, such as Enfield, falling within the recreational zone of influence, are required to collect financial planning obligations for Strategic Access Management Measures (SAMMs) and Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces (SANGs) to mitigate the harmful impacts by visitors to Epping Forest SAC.

Enfield collects funds for SAMMs on behalf of the City of Conservators and transfers funds twice a year.

Funds for SANGs are retained by Enfield Council to pay for projects set out in the Recreational Mitigation Strategy (PDF, 10565.23 KB) published alongside the Enfield Local Plan.

To find out if your site falls within the 6.2km radius of the Epping Forest SAC recreational zone of influence, you can view the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation map (PDF, 1452.69 KB).

If your site is located within 6.2km of the Epping Forest SAC recreational zone of influence, you must complete the SAC agreement form (PDF, 129.31 KB) that will confirm the method of payment.

There are 3 methods of payment. However, most applicants prefer option 1, as it is the quicker and more cost-effective choice:

  1. If the scheme will not require a legal agreement to secure other planning obligations, payment can be made online via the ‘Pay for SAMMs and SANGs’ button below
  2. If the scheme will require a legal agreement to secure planning obligations, the SAMMs and SANGs payment can be included within the schedule of charges in the legal agreement
  3. If the scheme will not require a legal agreement to secure other planning obligations, but an applicant would rather complete a unilateral undertaking, the SAMMs and SANGs payment can be included within the schedule of charges in the unilateral undertaking but will be charged at £900 plus mitigation

Please note - planning permission will not be issued until the necessary fee has been paid and/or secured via unilateral undertaking.

To proceed with payment, use the button below and select ‘SAMMs and SANGs’ from the dropdown list.

Pay for SAMMs and SANGs

When do the fees apply?

For SAMMs, the start date is for residential development granted planning permission on or after 29 August 2023.

For SANGs, the start date is for residential development granted planning permission after 1 April 2024.

Residential developments which are liable for the charges include:

How to apply the charges

The charge is £45.40 per dwelling for SAMMs and £353 per dwelling for SANGs. The types/classes of residential development subject to this charge are outlined in the table below.

An administrative charge of £180 is also applied per application.

The table below sets out types of residential developments liable for SAMMs and SANGs and how to apply the charge.

Residential developments liable for SAMMs and SANGs
TypeClasses SAMMs charge SANGs charge
Dwellings C3 £45.40 per dwelling (net gain) £353 per dwelling (net gain)
Hotels and holiday accommodation C1 £45.40 per 5 bedrooms £353 per 5 bedrooms
Camp and caravan sites Sui generis £45.40 per pitch £353 per pitch
Student accommodation C2/C3/C4/Sui generis £45.40 per 5 bedrooms £353 per 5 bedrooms
Residential institutions C2 £45.40 per 5 bedrooms £353 per 5 bedrooms
Houses in multiple occupation Sui generis £45.40 per 6 bedrooms £353 per 6 bedrooms
Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Show person plots Sui generis £45.40 per pitch £353 per pitch

Examples for fee calculation

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