Joint Strategic Partnership

The Thames Basin Heaths, which covers parts of Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, is a rare example of lowland heathland. It is home to three important bird species, and protected by international law as a 'Special Protection Area' (SPA). The heaths, and the birds that nest and breed there, are easily disturbed by people and their pets.

The Local Authorities that surround the SPA, along with the Regional Assembly (now disbanded) and other partners, have established the Thames Basin Heaths Joint Strategic Partnership (JSP) to plan for the long term protection of the SPA in a consistent and co-ordinated way.

The Thames Basin Heaths Joint Strategic Partnership Board comprises:

  • Bracknell Forest Borough Council
  • Elmbridge Borough Council
  • Guildford Borough Council
  • Hart District Council
  • Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Runnymede Borough Council
  • Rushmoor Borough Council
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Waverley Borough Council
  • Woking Borough Council
  • Wokingham Borough Council
  • Hampshire County Council

The Board is advised by a number of bodies including Natural England, Berkshire Joint Strategic Planning Unit, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Forestry Commission , Federation of Master Builders, Open Spaces Society, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Wildlife Trusts in the South East.

The current work of the Partnership is based around the co-ordination of three areas of work:

  1. Agreeing a Delivery Framework for the long-term protection of the SPA.
  2. Agreeing an approach to the Strategic Access Management and Monitoring
  3. On site management

View the Terms of Reference of the JSPB

The JSP has prepared guidance setting out its guidance on measures to enable the delivery of new housing development in the vicinity of the SPA without having an effect on the SPA as a whole. In particular, the Delivery Framework introduced two key measures:

  • No net new residential development will be permitted within 400 metres of the SPA.
  • All new development within 400metres to 5km of the SPA must contribute to or provide Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).

View the Delivery Framework here

Following the dissolution of the South East of England Planning Board the work of the JSP is now hosted by Surrey Heath Borough Council. If you have any questions or require further advice concerning the work of the JSP, please email us on