What is the Essex Coast RAMS?
The Essex Coast Recreation disturbance Avoidance Strategy (the “Essex Coast RAMS”) is a project to prevent harm to protected wildlife sites along the Essex coast. The Essex Coast RAMS identifies a programme of measures to mitigate the impact of new housing delivery and help avoid disturbing birds within these protected Habitat Sites.
Southend-on-Sea City Council and these other neighbouring local authorities are working together to deliver the Essex Coast RAMS project
- Basildon Borough Council
- Braintree District Council
- Brentwood Borough Council
- Castle Point Borough Council
- Chelmsford City Council
- Colchester Borough Council
- Maldon District Council
- Rochford District Council
- Tendring District Council
- Thurrock Borough Council
- Uttlesford District Council
To give the Essex Coast RAMS project a clear identity, it has been partnered with Bird Aware. Bird Aware aim to raise awareness of protected birds that visit our coastline every year. More information can be found at the Bird Aware website.
Essex Coast RAMS Tariff
Additional housing in the area is likely to increase the level of disturbance because of the additional visitor pressure on coastal sites. A payment for each net additional dwelling created in Southend and neighbouring Council areas will fund the measures set out in the Essex Coast RAMS. This is the fairest way to ensure that the impacts of housing growth and related visitor pressure along the coastline are taken into account.
The current charge (as of 1st April 2023) is £156.76 per dwelling. This will be updated each year in line with the Retail Price Index, with any increase coming into force on the 1st April each year.
The payment must be secured with all applications that would result in a net increase in housing in the Borough. It applies to all full applications, outline applications, hybrid applications, prior approvals and permitted development. Reserved matters applications will be considered on an individual basis. Applications for outline planning permission should state a maximum number of dwelling units. It should be noted no exemptions can apply.
Some housing schemes, particularly those located close to a designated Habitats Sites boundary and large scale development, may need to provide extra mitigation measures. The local planning authority, with advice from Natural England, will consider the mitigation requirements for such development proposals on a case-by-case basis.
Applications where RAMS applies will be refused if a RAMS mitigation payment has not been paid or secured as part of a legal agreement
How can the Essex Coast RAMS tariff be paid?
- the payment can be paid online. Please note there is a non-refundable administration charge of £10 in addition to the tariff to process this payment
- applicants can also sign a legal agreement (under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) stating they will pay the tariff as part of the planning application process. In addition to the tariff there will be a charge of £49 for the Council to check each legal agreement. More information on this process will be available from the Planning Application case officer
Applicants can also provide mitigation themselves but they will need to show the Council and Natural England that their proposed measures will fully safeguard the habitat from the impact of their development.