Beech Planning

AONB Planning Restrictions

AONB Planning Restrictions

We outline the planning restrictions in an AONB.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

What is an AONB?

Area's of Outstanding Natural Beauty are designated areas within England and Wales that are protected for their landscape character. Natural England, the Local Planning Authority, and the AONB Partnership are required to have special regard to the "purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of any AONB". They together produce an AONB management plan to protect the special landscape qualities of the area.

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (link to the legislation)

AONB's have been accorded a high degree of protection in the planning system and Local Planning Authorities will consider how each development proposal affects the special landscape qualities of the area. Natural England and the AONB Partnership will be a statutory consultee of any development proposal.

What is a designated area?

A designated area is an area protected for its special qualities. Designated areas include National Parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas and World Heritage sites. Designated areas are collectively referred to as Article 2(3) land. AONBs are a lesser designation that a National Park, and are not the same as a Conservation Area.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. Article 2(3) land (link to the legislation)

Class R Permitted Development

Is permitted development allowed in an AONB?

Permitted development is allowed in an AONB; however, there are significant limits on the size of extensions and the size of outbuildings. Side extensions are not allowed under permitted development in an AONB. Rear extensions under permitted development are limited to 4 metres on detached dwellings and 3 metres on all other dwellings within an AONB.

Class Q permitted development rights to convert agricultural buildings to dwellings aren't available in Area's of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The lack of Class Q permitted development rights means that converting an isolated building in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is much more difficult. Although Class Q permitted development rights aren't available, Class R permitted development rights are allowed on Article 2(3) land. Class R permitted development rights allow the conversion of agricultural buildings to flexible commercial uses and provide significant development opportunities.

Permitted development in an AONB

Can you build houses in an AONB?

You can build houses in an AONB; however, planning permission is rarely granted for new houses in the open countryside. New and replacement dwellings must not be unduly prominent, so architectural volumes need to be broken-up and reflective surfaces should be kept to a minimum. Large extents of glazing that may cause light pollution should also be avoided, as many AONBs have have been designated as Dark Sky Reserves.

The requirement to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty means there are significant planning restrictions in AONBs. It is important to understand how development proposals may harm the special qualities of the area and cause harm to the wider landscape character. Clear understanding of landscape setting and sensitive architectural design are paticularly important.

Areas Served

We provide planning consultancy services in the following AONB's:

Anglesey, Arnside and Silverdale, Blackdown Hills, Cannock Chase, Chichester Harbour, Chiltern Hills, Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, Cornwall, Cotswolds, Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs, Dedham Vale, Dorset, East Devon, Forest of Bowland, Gower, High Weald, Howardian Hills, Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Kent Downs, Lincolnshire Wolds, Llŷn, Mendip Hills, Nidderdale, Norfolk Coast, North Devon Coast, North Pennines, Northumberland Coast, North Wessex Downs, Quantock Hills, Shropshire Hills, Solway Coast, South Devon, Suffolk Coast and Heaths, Surrey Hills, Tamar Valley, and Wye Valley.