What We Do
We work in partnership and aim to achieve • an outstanding landscape, rich in wildlife and cultural heritage • a thriving, sustainable economy and vibrant communities • a strong connection between people and the landscape
Planning in AONBs
The fundamental principle underlying planning and development management in AONBs is that any new development within the AONB that has a materially adverse impact can only proceed where it is demonstrated that it satisfies an overriding national need.
Section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) places a duty on all local authorities, public bodies and statutory undertakers to pay ‘due regard’ to the purpose of AONB designation in carrying out their functions in relation to, or so as to affect, land in AONBs.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provides specific guidance for development planning and decision-making in relation to AONBs. It confirms that ‘great weight should be given to conserving landscape and scenic beauty’. The ‘great weight test’ is significant and is one of the most stringent legal tests that can be applied under planning law. The NPPF was updated in July 2021, and Sections 176 and 177 have updates relevant to the AONB.