Why an AONB?
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is the right
level of protection for an area such as the Forest of Dean, as it protects
whilst allowing appropriate sustainable development.
AONB status can pull in grant funds. The Wye Valley
AONB estimate that the area has attracted for each £1 spent on running the
AONB at least £4 - £11 comes back in.
Development is restricted only by planning policies that
reflect local community need.
Would help to ensure that Commoning and Freemining rights
Frequently asked Questions:-
Since 2006 English Nature and
Countryside Agency have merged to form Natural England. Natural
England has yet to make comment as to whether it feels the Forest of
Dean could be made an AONB.
The possibility of a new FOD AONB is already on Natural
England’s programme schedule.
Bearing in mind the above if Natural England and the Council were to
support the designation what is the time scale and process involved.
The Minister has already asked for accelerated consideration
of the matter and there is no reason for delay from that point of
there areas the Council would clearly support to be in or not to be
in a new designation.
Because of the advantages of a
designation, it is unlikely that communities would wish to be
excluded. However, the Council would have ample opportunity to
discuss these matters with NE.
Is there a key geographic area that the Council would support an
AONB based on e.g. the Hundred of St Briavels?
There are AONB-quality landscapes both inside and outside the
Hundred of St Briavels. NE will advise the Local Authorities of
these. The general principle will be to include unless there are
reasons to exclude.
are the likely resource implications of a new AONB?
Development of an AONB, boundary reviews and public enquiry?
There will be some initial costs, but
there will be government assistance, and it would be wrong to lose
long-term advantages simply to save a short term cost. (Would you
refuse to pay a bus fare to get you to a job interview that would
provide you with an income for the rest of your life?)
Development of a management plan, monitoring and staffing?
This is a normal part of the AONB
management process, and would be funded from central government, at
little cost to the Local Authority.
Opportunities for attracting further funding?
All AONBs attract government and
European funding, a lot of which is not available to non-designated
areas. It would be reasonable to expect a considerable added value
return on the funding that would be available to the District. Last
year, simply via this further funding, the Wye Valley AONB received
three times more that it spent on AONB team salaries and management.
Implications of current local plan policy (R) FNE5 across a larger
The District Council will remain the planning authority, but
with stronger powers than at the moment.
Landscape protection benefits?
there an advantage in parity with other areas of the county, what
are likely to be the implications on those areas outside of any new
The designation would formalise the recently formed Cotswolds
and FOD Destination Management Organisation, putting us on a par
with the Cotswolds – which is said to be the second most important
tourist destination outside London.
In Minerals and Waste planning terms the new FOD AONB
designated area would be the same as the Cotswold AONB; e.g. a
primary constraint area.
Would it affect the delivery of affordable housing across the
There would be no change compared with the present situation,
however, some AONBs do have special initiatives for affordable
housing for local people. A designation would prevent any
deterioration in our present situation.
Would it affect the affordability of the districts housing stock?
Although we share the same difficulties as virtually all other
local authorities in the land regarding affordable housing, on the
Halifax Rural house Price Index (2006) the District is better off
than nearly 90% of other local authorities. AONB might help us to
maintain this position.
added value would designation bring to the tourism sector?
Available evidence from throughout the SW and UK indicates
that a designated status will bring benefits measured in the tens to
hundreds of millions of pounds.
it likely to constrain or assist other economic sectors?
The evidence is overwhelming that such a policy would be the
single greatest step to ensuring economic growth and higher income
jobs, thus insuring not only short-term prosperity but also
prosperity sustainable in the long-term. In the last ten years
alone, there have been 20 independent and unchallenged studies
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