Habitats Sites Mitigation

Suffolk Coast Recreational disturbance Avoidance Mitigation Strategy (RAMS)

The Councils are working alongside Ipswich Borough Council and East Suffolk Council on strategic mitigation.

This mitigation is designed to support development and avoid impacts on internationally important designated wildlife sites.

The unique countryside and coastal areas of Suffolk provide opportunities and challenges for housing development. Our collective goal is to promote sustainable development, whilst maintaining and enhancing our wildlife. This is particularly with regards to our nationally and internationally recognised sites.

The Councils have produced a combined Recreational disturbance, Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) for the area. This identifies cost measures necessary to mitigate recreational impacts. It confirms how they will be funded and delivered over the lifetime of local plans.

The strategy has been drafted by specialist consultants as a Technical Report. This supports local plans and gives developers the option to contribute to an agreed and costed scheme of mitigation.

This applies to residential developments within the zone of influence, over the plan period.

If you have formally requested Pre-application planning advice the requirement for a RAMS contribution will be included in the response.

If you are expecting a decision for your application

If, during the application process you have been advised that a contribution is required, please complete the RAMS Payment Form below.

This will enable you to submit payment under Section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972, Recreational Avoidance Mitigation Contribution.

You must submit this payment before a decision is issued.

RAMS Payment Form

If permission is refused, but you have already submitted the RAMS payment, you are entitled to a refund. This claim can only be made 6 months following the date of decision. This is when the time limit for lodging an appeal has expired.

To claim your refund, please email the Infrastructure Team quoting your application reference.

If you have an older permission with a RAMS condition

There are older planning permissions that contain a condition relating to the RAMS contribution. Though we will not apply this condition in the future, all existing conditions must be discharged before development starts.

The customer must apply to discharge this condition by submitting a Discharge of Conditions (DOC) application to the Local Planning Authority (LPA). When the condition has been met, the LPA will discharge it by way of formal written approval.

The application asks that the customer enter into a legal agreement, known as a Unilateral Undertaking. This will legally bind them to submit the RAMS payment. The application will involve a payment to the Legal Team (minimum £50).

The condition can also be discharged by submission of payment via the RAMS Payment Form, instead of a Unilateral Undertaking. You must not complete the payment form until you have received confirmation that your DOC application has been validated.

Please contact the Planning Validation Team if you have any questions.


  1. - If you submit a DOC application for the RAMS condition only, there will be no application fee. If you submit a DOC application for multiple conditions (including the RAMS condition) the usual application fee must be paid.
  2. - If there is an existing Unilateral Undertaking the RAMS payment must be paid when development starts. This is done at the same time the Infrastructure Team are served a Commencement Notice. Please visit our Infrastructure section for further guidance.

 The designated sites for Babergh and Mid Suffolk within the RAMS are:

  • Deben Estuary SPA and Ramsar site
  • Stour and Orwell SPA and Ramsar site
  • Minsmere - Walberswick Heaths and Marshes SPA and Ramsar site

View the Suffolk Coast RAMS

View the Suffolk Coast RAMS FAQs 

View the Suffolk RAMS area 

View a Suffolk Coast RAMS Unilateral Undertaking Example


The parishes that fall within the 13km Zone of Influence are:

Babergh District   Mid Suffolk District
Aldham Akenham
Arwarton Ashbocking
Belstead Ashfield Cum Thorpe
Bentley Barham
Brantham Barking
Capel St Mary Baylham
Chattisham Bramford
Chelmondiston Claydon
Copdock and Washbrook Coddenham
East Bergholt Darmsden
Elmsett Flowton
Freston Framsden

Great Wenham /

Wenham Magna

Hadleigh Great Blakenham
Harkstead Helmingham
Higham Hemingstone
Hintlesham Henley
Holbrook Laxfield
Holton St Mary Little Blakenham
Kersey Needham Market
Layham Nettlestead
Leavenheath Offton

Little Wenham /

Wenham Parva

Pinewood Whitton
Polstead Willisham
Stoke by Nayland  
Stratford St Mary