European Sites Mitigation SPD

European Sites Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

The European Sites Mitigation Supplementary Planning Document is formally adopted by the Council.  Residential development within the 'Zones of Influence' should now provide the necessary mitigation: 

You can see the zones using this link to the interactive map.  New development should make contributions if located within the Zones of Influence of:

  • Plymouth and Tamar Estuaries Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area
  • Falmouth and Helford Special Area of Conservation
  • Penhale Dunes Special Area of Conservation.

The Council may collect contributions as part of a Section 106 agreement.  We use these for major developments.  We may use a planning condition for smaller residential development.  This requires the applicant to enter into a Section 111 agreement before developments starts. 

The tariff applies to all full applications, outline applications, permission principle applications and reserved matters applications where no contribution was made at the outline stage.

Submission of Appropriate Assessments

Applications submitted after 9 August 2021 require an Appropriate Assessment.  You can find the forms using the below links.  Although a S111 form can be completed at the submission stage, and this is encouraged, please do not make the contribution payment until contacted by the Case Officer. 

You can find the forms using these links:

Section 111 agreement templates

You can find templates for our Section 111 agreements using these links:

Planning appeals

Following a recent appeal decision there is a risk that planning conditions requiring the payment of a contribution or a submission of a scheme by planning condition will not be allowed.
We therefore recommend the payment will need to be paid during the appeal. Please submit either a section 111 or unilateral undertaking form. Section 111 forms can be found above.


The contribution will be returned if either of the following occurs:

  • Planning permission is refused, and six months have elapsed from the decision date without a planning appeal.
  • The development has not started, and the planning permission is no longer capable of being implemented.
  • Any planning appeal submitted in respect of the development has been dismissed.

What is a European Designated Site?

European designated sites have the highest level of environmental designation in the UK. They are nature conservation sites established under the Habitats and Birds Directives.  This includes:

  • Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and
  • Special Protection Areas (SPAs)

What does the European Sites SPD do?

Policy 22 of the Cornwall Local Plan committed the Council to produce an SPD. Plans and policies must not harm the special features of a European site. The Habitats Regulations Assessment found that there could be harm.  This is due to increased recreation as there will be more people living in Cornwall. So numbers of people using the sites are likely to go up.

The document sets out a strategic approach to the mitigation and monitoring of the sites. With a programme of measures and a scale of contributions from development. This makes it easier for developers to make sure that their proposals will not harm a European Site.  It also means that we can use the contributions to help protect the sites. 

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