Thames Basin Heaths Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Information about the Thames Basin Heaths SPD

The Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) is a series of internationally protected heathland habitats stretching across parts of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey and are home to a number of protected species including ground nesting bird species. Since 2005 it has been established that increased recreational pressure on the SPA was having a harmful effect on the integrity of the SPA, primarily arising from new residential developments.

In order to protect the heathland habitat and the protected bird species, Runnymede along with other local authorities in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey as well as Natural England have agreed a set of avoidance and mitigation measures which allows residential development to continue to come forward. The avoidance and mitigation is in the form of Suitable Accessible Natural Greenspace (SANG) as alternative areas for recreation and the Strategic Access Management & Monitoring (SAMM) project.

The Runnymede draft Thames Basin Heaths SPD sets out the Council's approach to the measures required to avoid/mitigate impacts to the SPA including how SANG can be delivered, financial contributions required towards the SAMM project and strategic SANG in the borough as well as establishing SANG catchment areas and will replace the current Thames Basin Heaths SPG adopted 2009. One of the main changes from the 2009 SPG is the proposal to move Runnymede in line with the other Thames Basin Heaths authorities by calculating SANG and SAMM contributions by occupancy rather than by number of dwellings.

Consultation on the draft Infrastructure Delivery & Prioritisation SPD

The draft Thames Basin Heaths SPD is open to public consultation for a period of 7 weeks from 30 November 2020 to 5pm Monday 18 January 2021. A copy of the draft SPD and supporting documents and how you can make representations can be found below.

Icon for pdf Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area SPD (Draft) [4.21MB]

Icon for pdf Regulation 12 Statement of Consultation [98.28KB]

Icon for pdf Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) [630.09KB]

Icon for pdf Equality Screening [144.5KB]

Icon for pdf Statement of Representations & Inspection Procedure [62.59KB]

The Council Offices and the local libraries listed below are currently closed to the public due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

  • Addlestone Library (if required outside of Civic Office hours), Runnymede Civic Centre, Station Road, Addlestone, KT15 2AF
  • Chertsey Library, Guildford Street, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 3BE
  • Egham Library, High Street, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9EA
  • New Haw Community Library, 28A The Broadway, Addlestone, KT15 3HA
  • Virginia Water Community Library, 6 Station Parade, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 4AB

As such it is not currently possible to make the draft SPD and supporting material immediately available for inspection in these locations. Once the current Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted to the extent that these premises are open to the public and offering study space/computer access to enable documents to be inspected, hard copy material/documentation on CDs will be made available for the public to view in these locations during their published opening hours as soon as practically possible. For further information on library opening times please see the Surrey County Council website at 

Until such a time, should any interested party without access to the internet wish to receive a hard copy of the Thames Basin Heaths Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), please contact the Council on 01932 838383.

All representations made during the course of the consultations must be made in writing. Anonymous representations will not be accepted. Any comments that could be construed as derogatory towards any individual or group will not be recorded or considered.

Copies of comments received during the course of the consultations will be made available for the public to view on the Council's website. Comments therefore cannot be treated as confidential. Personal details will be redacted prior to publishing. Data will be processed and held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.

We would like you to send us your views electronically if possible.  Representations should be sent to:

If you are unable to submit your comments electronically please send your written comments to the Planning Policy and Economic Development team, Runnymede Borough Council, Civic Centre, Station Road, Addlestone, KT15 2AH to arrive by the close of the consultation period.

If you need help with your representation, please contact the Technical Administration team in the first instance on 01932 425131 or email

Next steps

Following consultation, the Council will collate all responses and publish on the Council's website. The Council will consider any issues raised and whether any changes to the SPD are necessary and this will be set out in the updated Statement of Consultation. Once this is completed, the Council will be seeking to adopt the SPD in Spring 2021.