New proposals could being £6 million to protect Cannock Chase

Proposals being discussed by senior councillors this week could make more developers protect Cannock Chase and bring in more than £6 million for enhancements.

Deer roam on Cannock Chase near Brocton.
Deer roam on Cannock Chase near Brocton.

Currently any development within eight kilometres of the Cannock Chase Special Area of Conservation has to contribute money to alleviate the pressure on sensitive parts of this popular Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But new plans to be discussed by the cabinet at Stafford Borough Council on January 13 would see the boundary line for contributions almost double.

It would mean any houses being built within 15 kilometres would be liable for a payment towards the work of the Cannock Chase Special Area of Conservation (SAC) partnership.

The proposals could bring in more than £6 million to enhance the area, which would be earmarked for improving footpaths, bike trails, upgrading car parks and providing better visitor information.

The report to the cabinet recommends a charge of £290.58 per developer unit and would be brought into effect from April 1.

Councillor Mike Smith, deputy leader at Stafford Borough Council, said: “We are fortunate to have an area of internationally important heathland on our doorstep and these proposals will help the partners in the SAC to protect, conserve and restore this beautiful area.

“The Chase has grown in popularity and will continue to do so. As well as being an area of outstanding natural beauty, Cannock Chase provides a benefit to the physical and mental health of many residents and visitors.

“It is right that, with an increase in homes being built and therefore more people living in the borough, developers make a contribution to help protect and preserve the more sensitive areas.

“That work will include improving footpaths, introducing appropriate bike trails, upgrading car parks and providing more visitor information.”

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