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Why is there a need for mitigation?

The Designated Habitat sites along the Essex coast have strong legal protection and local Councils with developments within the identified Zone of Influence must not grant planning permission, unless any harmful effects on these sites are fully mitigated. The Zone of Influence was calculated by ranking the distances travelled by visitors to the coast based on their home town postcode data to identify the distance which new residents are likely to travel to the Essex coast Habitat sites for recreation. Over 80,000 new homes are planned to be built across Essex over the next 15-20 years. Cumulatively these could have a considerable impact on the Designated Habitat sites, with each new home contributing to that cumulative impact. One of these potential impacts is increased recreational activity on the estuaries, coast and heath resulting from population increases associated with the new homes.