Decision details

SANG capacity agreements between Bracknell Forest Council and Surrey Heath Borough Council

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


There is an existing agreement for BFC to share up to 500 dwellings SANG capacity from Shepherd Meadows SANG in Bracknell Forest with SHBC. The majority of this SANG capacity has been used up. The intention is to bring this agreement to an end with SHBC paying BFC the balance for the remaining SANG capacity. A new agreement will then be set up to allocate further SANG capacity at Shepherd Meadows SANG to SHBC to mitigate further developments in the emerging Surrey Heath Local Plan.




i.       Executive agree to enter into an agreement with Surrey Heath Borough

Council (SHBC) for land at Shepherd Meadows to serve as further SANG

            capacity for up to 500 homes in the Borough of Surrey Heath and,


ii.     the council apply SANG contributions at rates in line with the Thames

Basin Heaths Special Protection Area Supplementary Planning Document (SPA SPD) and any other subsequent versions, to be index linked from the date of publication of the SPD.

Reasons for the decision:

i.       The saved South East Plan Policy NRM6 Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area states that ‘authorities should cooperate and work jointly to implement mitigation measures. These may include, inter alia, assistance to those authorities with insufficient SANG land within their own boundaries…’


ii.     BFC has an existing agreement with SHBC to provide up to 500 dwellings SANG capacity to mitigate developments in Surrey Heath in the current plan period. This was approved by the Executive in 2015. Up to the end of December 2022, Shepherd Meadows SANG had mitigated 387 dwellings in Surrey Heath with a further 113 dwellings capacity still available. It is proposed to end this agreement during 2023 with SHBC paying the outstanding amount for the remaining SANG capacity.


iii.    In 2022 SHBC approached BFC to request further SANG capacity to mitigate

residential developments that are being planned through its emerging Local Plan. Given there is SANG capacity still available for Shepherd Meadows SANG and in other SANGs in the southern half of Bracknell Forest, it is considered that BFC can offer up to 500 dwellings capacity through a new agreement, without affecting capacity needs in Bracknell Forest.


iv.    As set out in Appendix 3 of the SPA SPD (March 2018), Shepherd Meadows SANG has the potential to provide SPA mitigation for approximately 1,594 dwellings. The table below shows SANG capacity of Shepherd Meadows, capacity already taken up by developments in Bracknell Forest to the end of December 2022 (including capacity safeguarded for allocations in the emerging Bracknell Forest Local Plan which will be delivered in the next plan period) SANG capacity allocated to SHBC through the existing agreement and capacity remaining if a further 500 dwellings were allocated to developments in Surrey Heath.


v.     It can be seen that, even by allocating SANG capacity for up to 500 dwellings in Surrey Heath, there is still a large amount of SANG capacity available in the southern half of the borough equivalent to 1,143 dwellings. This is in

addition to SANG capacity remaining in the SANGs in the north of the borough. Please note the figures are approximate and minimum as they include developments that have been allocated SANG capacity which may not be permitted or implemented.


vi.    The SPA SPD (March 2018) sets out current SANG contributions. The level of contributions listed for Prior Approval applications are relevant for this proposal as these include all the SANG costs. For market and affordable dwellings in BFC part of the SANG contribution comes from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The current levels of SANG contributions that would be applied are shown in the table below and depend on the size of dwellings. It is proposed to index link these financial contributions from the date of publication of the SPD.


vii.   The proposed improvements for Shepherd Meadows SANG are summarised in an Open Space Management Plan published on the BFC website.

Alternative options considered:

i.       To agree that BFC enter into an agreement with SHBC to provide a lower level of SANG capacity at Shepherd Meadows to provide SPA avoidance measures for residential development in the west of the Borough of Surrey Heath. This option was discounted because it is considered that there is sufficient SANG capacity in BFC to meet SHBC’s need for SANG capacity as well as those in Bracknell Forest.


ii.     Not to enter into an agreement with SHBC. This option was discounted as it would go against the retained South East Plan policy outlined.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Financial Impact: This will be a financial gain for the Council.

Declarations: None

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No

Making Representations: In writing to the Executive Director: Place, Planning and Regeneration

Other reasons / organisations consulted

internal consultation with relevant services – meetings, email, report responses and associated contracts


Internal consultees including Parks and Countryside, Legal, Finance

Contact: Simon Cridland, Infrastructure & Implementation Team Manager Email: Tel: 01344 351183.

Report author: Simon Cridland

Publication date: 21/03/2023

Date of decision: 21/03/2023

Decided at meeting: 21/03/2023 - Executive

Effective from: 29/03/2023

Accompanying Documents: