Habitat Regulations Assessment - Planning validation requirements

Planning document information

Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (the Habitat Regulations) we have a duty to protect habitats and species in designated areas.

We have worked with 11 other Essex authorities and the Bird Aware Essex Coast initiative to develop the Essex Coast Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS).

We are funding the mitigation measures we are taking using Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) RAMS contributions from developers.


You will need to make a HRA RAMS contribution if your proposed development is for:

  • a residential development for a net gain of one or more new dwellings
  • in our zone of influence

You can find our district’s zone of influence on this map.

You need to submit a HRA payment form as part of your application. Using this form, you must tell us how many new dwellings you are proposing to create and how you intent to pay your HRA RAMS contribution.

There are three ways you can pay your HRA RAMS contribution:

  1. You can pay up front via a card payment. You can make this payment when you complete the HRA Payment form.
  2. You can enter into a Unilateral Undertaking with us. You will need to complete a Unilateral Undertakings form and pay our legal costs of £300 in addition to your HRA RAMS contribution along with an Administration Fee of £100
  3. If your proposal is for 10 or more new dwellings you can include your HRA RAMS contribution in your S106 agreement.

We calculate the amount of your HRA RAMS contribution based on the number of new dwellings you are proposing to create. You need to pay £156.76 for each new dwelling plus an administration fee of £100 for options 1 and 2 above.

You must pay your HRA RAMS contribution before you start work on your development.

The Essex authorities and Bird Aware Essex Coast have published a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to support the RAMS strategy. The document provides practical help for councils, developers, and the public.

You can get help and advice from our Duty Planner on HRA RAMS contributions, and other types of planning applications.

You can get detailed feedback on your proposal by using our pre-application advice service.

Personal and confidential statement

We may publish any information you submit as part of your application. You must tell us if there is any information you do not want us to publish when you submit your application. 

If however, we believe that this information is in the public interest, we reserve the right to publish it. 

We may also decide parts of your submission are not in the public interest and may redact this information. This information may include telephone numbers, email addresses and signatures.

When you need to submit this information

Depending on the details of your application, you may have to make a HRA RAMS payment when you are making an application for:

If your application is for one of these types of planning permission, you need to make a HRA RAMS payment if your proposal is for:

  • a residential development for a net gain of one or more new dwellings

in our zone of influence.

Validation requirements

National requirement. You can find details of this requirement in the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, the Habitat Regulations.

  • Local plan policy - LPP64
  • Local plan policy - LPP63

These policies can be found in the Local Plan 2013 - 2033 document