Thames Estuary and Marshes

The Thames Estuary and Marshes Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site, is within Gravesham's boundary. The habitat site is highly protected and of international importance. It supports important numbers of wintering waterbirds and migrating birds. 

There has been a decline in the number of birds using these sites in recent years. Development has been found to disturb the birdlife of the North Kent Marshes Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar sites (areas of conserved wetland).

The Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Strategy (SAMMS) prepared for the North Kent Environmental Planning Group by Footprint Ecology set out a strategy for resolving the additional disturbances to the area’s wintering and migrating birds. Bird Wise North Kent implemented further mitigating measures. 

Find out how new housing developments could impact the bird populations in North Kent in the Footprint Ecology assessment.

Additional dwellings

If you are planning a development of one or more dwellings within 6km of an SPA or Ramsar site, we have to ensure appropriate assessments are completed under the Habitats regulations.

There is a tariff on new developments which adds additional recreational pressures and cause disturbances on protected areas. Developers are requested to contribute £275.88 per dwelling. (This free is subject to inflation and will increase annually).

Read more about the types of tariffs.

All monies raised are passed onto Bird Wise to pay for mitigation measures to be implemented. More information is available on the Bird Wise website.

You can check whether your site lies within the 6km buffer zone by viewing our map.

Make a SAMMS payment

You can pay your SAMMS mitigation contribution using our online form. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. We'll ask you for:

  • the planning application reference number
  • the property or site address of the planning application
  • a description of the development

At the end of the form you'll be able to pay by credit or debit card so please have your card details to hand.