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AONB management plans and development control: Alun Morgan Owen and David Alexander explore the contribution importance of management plans in development control decisions within adjoining AONBs in England and Wales.

THERE ARE currently 40 designated areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) in England and Wales, covering approximately 14 per cent of the land area and representing some of the finest inland and coastal landscapes. During the summer of 2005 a research study was undertaken using a questionnaire sent to every AONB in England and Wales. Replies were received from all the AONBs, and the answers have been analysed to inform thinking on the current relationship between management plans and the day-to-day development control process.

This article reviews the historical context of AONBs and how management plans have evolved within them and then reports on the results and analysis of the questionnaire and on the significance of its findings for the future of AONBs.

The historical context

AONBs are designated as a result of a complex mix of various interactions and pressures. The Countryside Agency has produced a helpful clarification: "The natural beauty of AONBs is partly due to nature, and is partly the product of many centuries of human modification of natural features. Landscape encompasses everything--natural and human--that makes an area distinctive; geology, climate, soil, plants, animals, communities, archaeology, buildings, the people who live in it, past and present and the perceptions of those that visit it.' (1)

In England and Wales, central government first seriously considered setting up other 'similar areas' to national parks in the Addison Committee Report of 1931. (2) The Dower Report in 1945 identified these areas as 'other amenity areas' and selected 33 areas under this heading. (3)

By the time of the Hobhouse Report in 1947, these 'other amenity areas' had become known as 'conservation areas' and had been increased in number to 52. They were seen as tracts of countryside with scenic quality comparable to that of national parks, where the character should be preserved but where, at that time, recreational potential was less. Hobhouse made the telling comment that 'wise control of development will be of national concern throughout all the Conservation Areas ... and will require standards as high as those set for National Parks'. (4) Even at such an early date, the question of equal or near equal status with national parks, in planning and landscape terms, was being raised.

The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 confirmed that somewhere along the line the term 'Conservation Area' had been changed to the rather clumsier one of AONB, 'this being seen as a sole criterion for designation, emphasising landscape importance rather than the wider combination of aesthetic and scientific value implied by the expression 'Conservation Area'. (5)

Effectively, AONBs were born as an afterthought to the national parks and yet they made up a very important and significant addition to the family of protected landscapes, with immense diversity and both national and international importance.

The evolution of management plans

Since the establishment of AONBs in the 1950s and 1960s, there has been a strategic deficiency over the purpose of the individual AONBs in terms of planning, management and, importantly, development control.

In 1968, the Countryside Commission developed a policy which required local authorities to produce 'statements of intent', which would provide the framework for specifying the purposes of the AONB designation, including statutory policies for the control of development. The statements of intent also advised a link to the statutory planning system by referring to them in structure and local plans covering AONBs. Unfortunately, the Countryside Commission only had the powers to advise the AONBs on their preparation and they were not a mandatory requirement. (6)

Ten years later, in 1978, the first review and re-appraisal of AONBs took place in order to identify their successes and shortcomings. When the AONB designation programme first began, 'it was the generally held view that a strict policy of development control by local authorities would be sufficient to safeguard landscapes'. (7) However, by 1978 this was clearly not the case, and it was felt that there was a need 'to see a long term policy commitment by local authorities to encourage positive action in their structure and local plans and to develop detailed policies through management plans'. (7)

Early findings suggested that the statements of intent did not have much cutting edge and that joint advisory committees (JACs) were the best way of overseeing policy in the AONBs. K.S. Himsworth was appointed to carry out a review, during which he visited and interviewed staff involved with 33 of the AONBs. He found that management plans were disliked by planners, who felt them unnecessary, and by landowners and occupiers, who feared that bureaucratic management plans would tell them how to farm their land. (8)

Published in parallel with the Himsworth Report was the Countryside Commission's response to the 1978 review's discussion paper. This identified some concern over the need for mandatory management plans in all AONBs and showed considerable sympathy with the view that development control with planning policies alone would safeguard the AONBs' main objectives. Nevertheless, the Commission advocated the encouragement of statements of intent for each AONB through grant aid, together with more detailed management plans for areas where they could effectively help to resolve land use conflicts with local planning authorities. (9) The management plan should be related to both the statement of intent and the statutory development plan.

Following a ministerial statement confirming the Government's commitment to the important role of AONBs, the Countryside Commission revised its policy statement, but it remained largely unchanged in essence apart from a more rigorous examination of mineral workings or extensions in AONBs. (10)

The next major review took place in 1989, a year after the introduction of the first planning policy guidance note on the countryside (PPG7: Rural Enterprise and Development), and this was carried out by Professor Gerald Smart and Dr Margaret Anderson. The review confirmed the value of JACs, supported the appointment of AONB officers and seemed to favour management plans only for those AONBs that needed them. (11) In the policy and ministerial statements that followed, there were indications that the Countryside Commission would produce advisory material on the formal content of management plans and statements of intent, to further clarify the role and purpose of any new AONB designations and underpin existing ones. (12)

When the management plan guidance came in 1992, it was not linked in any way to the revised PPG7 on the countryside and rural economy which also appeared in that year. Nevertheless, the new guidance contained a stronger link between AONB management plans and planning, with 'an appreciation of the development control background to the AONB [considered] essential to the management plan'. Gradually, it was being made clear that 'the AONB Management Plan should be complementary to the development plan system but will not itself have a development control function'. (13)

With the Environment Act in 1995, it finally became a requirement of every national park authority to produce a management plan and review it at least once every five years. This was seen by some as the first indication that it was only going to be a matter of time before similar arrangements would also apply in the AONBs.

In 1996, it fell to Michael Dower as the then Director General of the Countryside Commission to recommend the production of management plans and to set out a vision for the AONBs, with positive policies and programmes for action supplementing the development control framework. Dower also questioned whether the planning system and its policies were well geared to the needs of AONBs and whether the forthcoming further revision of PPG7 provided an opportunity to strengthen the planning status of AONBs. (14)

When PPG7 was revised in 1997, it did make it clearer that AONBs should have the same high level of protection as national parks, but it was left to a ministerial statement in 2000 to state categorically that 'the landscape qualities of National Parks and AONBs are equivalent. Conserving and enhancing the beauty of the landscape are objectives for both types of designation. The Government therefore believe that the protection given to both types of area by the land use planning system should also be equivalent.' (15)

Ably supported by the National Association for AONBs (NAAONB), set up in 1999, it was through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 that AONBs were at last able to tackle some of the shortcomings of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, passed 50 years earlier. The ACt finally gave AONBs a statutory purpose and stated that the preparation of management plans for AONBs would be mandatory, with local planning authorities required to incorporate the provisions of the management plan in preparing their development plans.

A review of management plans, which included nine AONBs, was carried out by Tyldesley and Assodates in 2000, and made clear that the links between the management plan, the development plan and other relevant documents were important: 'the planning process is one of the most important elements of AONB management but the non-statutory status of AONB Management Plans has directly inhibited their production'. (16)

For once the timing was correct and the Rural White Paper of 2000 was able to link with the Countryside and Rights of Way ACt in strengthening the role of AONBs and the production of management plans. The ACt itself required, in section 89(2), local authorities with an AONB in their area "to prepare and publish a plan which formulates their policy for the management of the area of outstanding natural beauty and for the carrying out of their functions in relation to it'.

All AONBs had to publish a management plan by the end of April 2004 and carry out a review within five years of publication. Conservation boards could be set up for AONBs, with statutory responsibility for management, but they had no responsibility for development planning, which remained with local planning authorities. Only two or three boards have been set up so far, including one in the Cotswolds--the largest of the AONBs.

AONB management plan guidance was published in 2001 in England and in 2002 in Wales. Sections of the AONB management plan could be adopted separately as supplementary planning guidance and could be material considerations to be taken into account in determining a planning application. (17)

Unlike the situation in England, the AONB guidance in Wales carried across into Planning Policy Wales (published in 2002) and stated that (National Parks and AONBs are of equal status in terms of landscape and scenic beauty and both must be afforded the highest status of protection from inappropriate development'. (18)

Although it may have been expected to be otherwise, the new PPS7, when published in 2004 still contained no direct reference to AONB management plans and their role within the planning system. However, it did state that "the conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape and countryside should be given great weight in planning policies and development control decisions'. (19) Neither was there any reference to the effect of development on land adjoining AONBs, unlike the situation in Wales, where currently 'the duty to have regard to National Park and AONB purposes applies to activities in these areas, whether those activities lie within or outside the designated areas'. (20)

Importance of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

Recent research by David Tyldesley and Associates has begun to uncover the future role of AONB management plans within the new planning system. Area action plans and supplementary planning documents may provide opportunities for the core objectives of the AONB management plan to be reflected in as far as they have land use implications. (21) AONB management plans can also underpin the strategic and specific policy direction of the local development framework (LDF). A more recent development in Wales was the proposal that the AONB management plan should be absorbed within the LDF and community strategy as part of a plan rationalisation process. As a result of strong representations from a wide range of interests arguing for their retention, the Welsh Assembly Government will not now proceed with this proposal. (22)

The questionnaire survey and analysis

The study questionnaire distributed during the summer of 2005 achieved a return from every AONB in England and Wales. Out of the 40 AONB respondents, six had a job title containing the word 'planning', including one community-planning officer. This contrasted with 25 respondents who used the term 'AONB Officer' or 'AONB Manager'.

After analysis of the answers to the question posed in the survey, the following picture has emerged of the growing impact of AONB management plans on the development control process: (23)

* Is the AONB officer or equivalent consulted on planning applications within and adjoining the AONB? All but five AONBs directly commented on applications within their area. However, 14 AONBs were not consulted on applications from areas adjoining the AONB. The broad picture was of an ad hoc and localised situation, with, to date, only the Isle of Anglesey AONB utilising management information systems software to publish weekly planning applications to a specific AONB list. Overall data availability is also ad hoc, with 13 AONBs having no data recorded. It is therefore only possible to talk with any confidence about specific AONBs. For example, the Isle of Wight commented on 230 applications out of an average annual total of 350, while the Sussex Downs estimated there were 600 consultations out of 3,000 applications over a one-year period.

Data on applications covering land adjacent to the AONBs proved largely inconclusive. The Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Dedham Vale did comment, but there was a lack of monitoring of the decisions from development control and therefore it was difficult to tell whether the effort expended was worthwhile. The largest AONB--the Cotswolds--was not consulted on planning applications, but relied instead on planning policies and planning officers from the different local authorities that make up the area.

* Is the joint advisory committee or equivalent consulted on planning applications within and adjoining the AONB? As only 18 and 16 positive responses, respectively, were given to this question, relating to applications within and adjoining AONBs, respectively, it was difficult to get enough accurate data for meaningful analysis, but Mendip Hills indicated that the JAC has given delegated powers to the AONB officer, since time constraints made it difficult to gather JAC members or subgroups together.

* Is the AONB officer or equivalent a member of a development team who meet regularly to discuss pre-planning applications which have significant landscape impact? Only two of the 40 respondents (Solway Coast and the Isle of Angiesey) had the AONB officer or equivalent as a member of a development team. Several other AONBs had their own variations on this:

* North Wessex Downs AONB--use of technical documentation, including the AONB management plan;

* Northumberland Coast--AONB officer meets annually with the development control and forward planning teams for each local authority in the AONB;

* Nidderdale--AONB officer is a member of the Harrogate Borough Council planning policy team;

* Suffolk Coast--reported that it is at times a struggle to get development control to recognise the role that the AONB has to play;

* Sussex Downs--frequently invited to pre-submission discussions with applicants;

* Kent Downs--a rural advice coordinator has been appointed to help applicants at the pre-application stage; in view of development pressures, the AONB needs to be firmly embedded in all planning processes and decision-making, working with regional partners in a strategic way and with the AONB management plan as an integral strategic document alongside other such documents;

* Isle of Wight--working groups have been formed to cope with large schemes; and

* Chilterns--sometimes consulted on very large applications at pre-application stage, but rarely involved in a working group.

* Does the AONB unit or equivalent have a planning protocol established so that the AONB and the planning authority can work together on planning issues? Only eight of the 40 respondents did not have, or was not preparing, a planning protocol--21 had a protocol established and a protocol was in preparation (six) or planned (five) in a further 11. In the case of South Devon, for example, the planning protocol has a framework for submitting comments on planning applications where any representations are based on the published policies and aims contained in the AONB management plan.

* How important to the public was planning and development control in relation to the AONB management plan? Some 34 of the 40 respondents thought that this was significant and demonstrated the public's interest. Only seven felt that it was very significant.

* Did the AONB management plan have any specific planning policies related to the AONB? It became apparent during the research that some AONB management plans did not have policies but instead had objectives. Suffolk Coast felt this was a weakness of the plan. Malvern Hills and East Devon felt similarly. Gower stated that it was not allowed to use planning policies in AONB management plans. Surrey Hills was only allowed to use land management policies. Norfolk Coast avoided planning policies because planners were uncomfortable with duplicating local and structure plans, and the Howardian Hills contained management plan policies similar to local plan policies.

* Did the AONB management plan have any specific planning policies for land adjoining the AONB? Ten of the 40 AONBs said that their management plans had specific planning policies for this land, but only three were able to offer examples. Quantock Hills pointed to nearby applications for telecom masts and major urban development on the AONB side of Bridgwater; Tamar Valley pointed to a wind turbine proposed for location between the AONB and Dartmoor National Park, while Wye Valley referred to a proposed business park with landscape impact on the skyline that was adjacent to the AONB boundary. The issue of land adjoining AONBs was felt likely to become a more important consideration in the future.

* To what extent had the AONB management plan been adopted or partly adopted as supplementary planning guidance (SPG)? Only three AONB management plans had been adopted or partly adopted as SPG (with a further two in the process of adoption at the time of the research). However, the whole of the High Weald management plan had been adopted because it was essentially based on natural beauty and had a series of objectives with supporting evidence which underpin development plan policy.

* How integral was the AONB management plan under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004; and when the AONB management plan is next reviewed, what changes are predicted for it in the light of the new Act? Over half of respondents saw the AONB management plan as an integral part of the new planning system, with 30 of the 40 having some comments to make on this issue. Generally, these comments were typified by those from Sussex Downs and Isle of Wight, who foresaw greater integration between AONB management plans and the LDF, since the management plans were spatial documents in their own right. Community involvement would play a key and possibly pivotal role with the new planning system.

* What were the development pressures over the past ten years, and what might they be over the next ten years? New housing developments showed the highest cumulative scores and wind farms the greatest increase in terms of development pressures (see the table above). Telecommunication mast pressures remained high over the last ten years and are predicted to remain so for the next ten.

* In areas adjoining the AONBs, what were the development pressures over the past ten years, and what might they be over the next ten years? Here, new housing pressure was at a similar level to that on land within AONBs, while telecommunication masts and wind farm pressures were even greater on land adjoining the AONBs (again, see the table above). Tourism and holiday accommodation were also two categories that showed a marked increase compared with data from within the AONBs.

Analysing the replies on a regional basis, within the AONBs, Wales showed the highest scores over the next ten years in terms of new housing, closely followed by the South East and East of England. The lowest average was recorded from the North West. The North West scored the highest average for wind farms, with Wales the lowest. The West Midlands and East of England showed the highest average score for telecommunication masts.

For areas adjoining the AONBs, new housing stood out for the next ten years in the North East, while the North West had the highest average score for barn conversions and new agricultural buildings over the next ten years. The West Midlands and the East of England scored the highest for telecommunication masts over the next ten years, with wind farms scoring highest in the South West and East of England.

In additional comments, the feelings of many were perhaps summed up by Northumberland Coast's observation that there had been a slow and steady improvement in the attention given to AONB concerns in determining planning applications since the adoption of management plans in 2004. Illustrations of how AONB management plan policies and objectives are having an impact on development control decisions are given in the panel above. However, there was still inconsistency owing to a high turnover of planning staff and a lack of planning education among some planning committee members. Arnside Silverdale also highlighted low-quality decisions in the early years of designation, but more senior staff involvement with the JAC has improved the situation.

Recommendations

Although the Dower and Hobhouse Reports were pivotal in establishing the AONBs and their links to planning during a period when a National Park focus was paramount, various reviews and policy guidance in the 1970s and 1980s gave AONBs a very poor foundation for dealing with planning, and especially with the development control process. However, national planning polities have gradually strengthened the importance of AONB designation and its objectives.

Two key steps were the Government giving AONBs equal status to national parks in terms of landscape value, and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which made management plans a statutory requirement and brought stability and consistency to links with planning. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act has also helped to identify the potential of AONB management plans as area action plans and/or supplementary planning documents.

Planning protocols have been seen to have a value and should be established within all AONBs, but it is now time for a general review on planning applications in AONBs, including data availability and monitoring. Land adjoining the AONBs needs a strategic rethink to prevent any inappropriate impact on AONBs, while closer links with the national parks would help give greater access to best practice approaches for protection and enhancement.

In the light of the research study, a number of specific recommendations can be put forward, falling within four broad categories:

* AONBs and development control:

* There should be a filtered weekly planning applications list for all AONBs.

* There is a need for a central database of all examples where AONB management plans have demonstrated influence and impact on planning decisions. This should be held by the National Association for AONBs.

* There is a need for a standardised monitoring system to analyse comments from management plans on planning applications.

* The AONBs should collate and analyse information on all planning applications received annually since the management plans were produced.

* Planning protocols should be established for all AONBs without them, as good practice.

* Good practice should be disseminated between all AONBs through the NAAONB.

* Training and raising awareness:

* There is a need for training sessions with AONB and planning staff, JAC members and planning committee members, held under the auspices of the NAAONB.

* The NAAONB should arrange regional planning workshops on the evolving relationship between AONBs and the planning process.

* Review of AONB management plans:

* Positive engagement with the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act is needed to get AONB management plans adopted as supplementary planning documents and/or area action plans.

* Objectives should be replaced by clear policies in all relevant management plans.

* AONB and national park links:

* There is a need to build on best practice through the NAAONB and existing protected landscape forums.

* Further research and analysis should be undertaken on national and regional AONB data comparison, and on the means of gaining stronger links with national parks.

This research has shown how AONBs have come of age over the past 50 years, particularly since 1995, but also how much there is still to do given the continued support and enthusiasm of AONB units, the NAAONB, and the many planners working both in and with AONBs across England and Wales.

AONBs in England and Wales

Amside & Silverdale * Blackdown Hills * Cannock Chase * Chichester Harbour * Chilterns * Cornwall * Cotswolds * Cranbome Chase & West Wiltshire Downs * Dedham Vale * Dorset * East Devon * East Hampshire * Forest of Bowland * High Weald * Howardian Hills * Isle of Wight * Isles of Scilly * Kent Downs * Lincolnshire Wolds * Malvem Hills * Mendip Hills * Nidderdale * Norfolk Coast * North Devon * North Pennines * Northumberland * North Wessex Downs * Quantock Hills * Shropshire Hills * Solway Coast * South Devon * Suffolk Coast & Heaths * Surrey Hills * Sussex Downs * Tamar Valley * Wye Valley

Landmarks in AONB policy

1930s

* Lobbying from conservation and amenity groups * Addison Report

1940s

* Dower Report * Hobhouse Report * National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act

1950s

* First AONBs designated (1956) * Ten AONBs designated

* 15 AONBs designated * Policy to produce statements of intent

1970s

* Eight AONBs designated * First re-appraisal of the AONBs

1980s

* Five AONBs designated * Review of AONBs * Policy statements and planning policy guidance

* Three AONBs designated * Major review and progress report on AONBs * Policy statements and planning policy guidance * Rural White Papers * Management plan guidance * Creation of NAAONB * Renton Bill on AONBs

2000s

* Rural White Paper * Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 * Statutory duty to prepare and publish AONB management plans * AONB management plan guidance (two sets) * Planning policy statement * South West Protected Landscape Forum established * Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

Examples of AONB management plan policies and objectives influencing development control decisions

IN THE North Wessex Downs AONB, a proposed wind turbine went to appeal in 2004. The planning inspector's decision noted that he 'attaches some significance to' policy DP4 of North Wessex Downs AONB, which is strongly against intrusive and unsympathetic developments within the AONB, especially where these would impinge on the open downland and have visual influence over a wider area. The appeal was dismissed. (a)

In the South Devon AONB, an application for a new life-saving hut at Challaborough beach was likely to have a negative landscape impact. The AONB management plan (policy P/CE2) was used to underpin the AONB officer's comments and the original application was withdrawn, (b)

In the Dorset AONB, there was an appeal decision against West Dorset District Council, who opposed the change of use of agricultural land for the stationing of two timber cabins for use as agricultural workers' dwellings. The management plan was cited by the planning inspector as supportive of the production of organic food and diversity in farming. (c)

(a) Appeal reference APP/WO340/A/04/1150153. Planning Inspectorate, Bristol, 2004

(b) South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2004-2009. South Devon AONB Unit, Totnes. Available online at http://www.southdevonaonb.org.uk/downloads.asp?Pageld=140

(c) Appeal reference APP/F1230/C/04/1162420,21,22,25. Planning Inspectorate, Bristol, 2004

Notes

(1) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty--A Guide. Countryside Agency, Cheltenham, 2001

(2) Report of the National Parks Committee. Addison Report. Cmd 3851. HMSO, 1931

(3) J. Dower: National Parks in England and Wales. Dower Report. Cmd 6628. Ministry of Town and Country Planning. HMSO, London, 1945

(4) Report of the National Parks Committee (England and Wales). Hobhouse Report. Cmd 7121. Ministry of Town and Country Planning. HMSO, London, 1947

(5) National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. HMSO, London, 1949

(6) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: A Policy Statement. CCP 141. Countryside Commission, Cheltenham, 1980

(7) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: A Discussion Paper. CCP 116. Countryside Commission, Cheltenham, 1978

(8) K.H. Himsworth: A Review of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. CCP 140. Countryside Commission, Cheltenham, 1980

(9) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Response to the Countryside Commission's Discussion Paper. CCP137 Countryside Commission, Cheltenham, 1980

(10) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A Policy Statement. CCP 157. Countryside Commission, Cheltenham, 1983

(11) Go Smart and M. Anderson: Planning and Management of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. CCP 295. Countryside Commission, Cheltenham, 1990

(12) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: A Policy Statement. CCP 302. Countryside Commission/Countryside Council for Wales, 1990

(13) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Policy Document. Countryside Commission/Countryside Council for Wales, 1991

(14) M. Dower. 'Where are we now?'. Presentation to the AONB 40th Anniversary Conference, Swansea, 1996

(15) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: A Guide for AONB Partnership Members. CA 24. Countryside Agency, Cheltenham, 2001

(16) Review of Management Plans in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales. Scottish Natural Heritage Review No. 135. David Tyldesley and Associates, Nottingham, 2000

(17) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plans: A Guide. CA 23. Countryside Agency, Cheltenham, 2001

(18) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plans: Guidance for Local Authorities in Wales. Countryside Council for Wales, Bangor, 2002, p.196

(19) Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, London, 2004

(20) Planning Policy Wales. Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff, 2002

(21) AONB Management Plans and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. David Tyldesley and Associates, Nottingham, 2005

(22) Letter from Sue Essex AM, Minister for Finance, Local Government and Public Services, to Leaders of Welsh local authorities, Chief Executives/Managing Directors of Welsh local authorities, 7 Feb., 2006 (MB/SE/0658/05). Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff, 2006

(23) A. Owen: AONB Management Plans and Development Control. Unpublished MSc Dissertation, School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Oct. 2005

Alun Morgan Owen is Isle of Anglesey Countryside and AONB Officer with the Isle of Anglesey County Council and David Alexander is a freelance planner specialising in countryside and environmental issues. The authors would like to thank the many AONB staff without whose positive involvement this study would not have been possible. The research formed the basis of a recent workshop at the RTPI North West Update event on rural policy and rural communities.
Development pressures within and in areas adjoining AONBs

Development pressure                     Within the AONB

                                 Last ten   Next ten   Percentage
                                  years      years       change

                                     (AONBs cumulative score,
                                        all 40 responses)

Barn conversions                   241        193         -19.9
Holiday accommodation, camping     229        243          +6.1
  and caravan sites
Mineral workings                   128        111         -13.3
New agricultural buildings         259        226         -12.7
New housing developments           270        301         +11.5
New roads, road improvements       194        213          +9.8
  and bridge construction
Overhead cabling                   122        108         -11.5
Telecommunications, including      262        269          +2.7
  masts and transmitters
Tourism-oriented leisure and       185        205         +10.9
  sporting developments
Wind farms                          94        197        +109.6

Development pressure                Areas adjoining the AONB

                                 Last ten   Next ten   Percentage
                                  years      years       change

                                     (AONBs cumulative score,
                                         32/39 responses)

Barn conversions                   126        115         -8.7
Holiday accommodation, camping     152        174        +14.5
  and caravan sites
Mineral workings                   132        128         -3.0
New agricultural buildings         183        173         -5.5
New housing developments           239        270        +13.0
New roads, road improvements       179        202        +12.9
  and bridge construction
Overhead cabling                    93         93         +0.0
Telecommunications, including      238        236         -0.8
  masts and transmitters
Tourism-oriented leisure and       175        205        +17.1
  sporting developments
Wind farms                         133        186        +39.8
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Title Annotation:landscape protection; areas of outstanding natural beauty
Author:Owen, Alun Morgan; Alexander, David
Publication:Town and Country Planning
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 1, 2006
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