proposed new planning laws and guidance, nature conservation
minister Ben Bradshaw has said.
conference in Guildford, Surrey, Mr Bradshaw said:
'Conserving areas of outstanding natural beauty in England is a key
to the government's overall commitment to sustainable development.
'The government is determined that both regional and local planning
authorities should be sensitive to the interests of areas of
outstanding natural beauty in their development plans. Well-thought
through schemes not only enhance these areas but also bring about
prosperity for rural economies from tourism.
'This Planning Bill will offers the right approach to encourage
sustainable development yet at the same time protecting AONBs from
the worst excesses of over-development.'
Current guidance on drawing up development plans stresses the
importance of the environment and this principle will be taken
forward to the new system of regional and local planning proposed in
the Bill. Revised guidance will emphasise the need to consult
representatives of AONBs and other stakeholders throughout the
While the Planning Bill and planning guidance is the responsibility
of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, but DEFRA will
continue to have, significant input during the consultation
1. At present, Planning Policy Guidance note 11 on regional planning
encourages the establishment of specific principles of environmental
management to designated areas such as AONBs. Planning Policy
Guidance note 12 on development pla ns underlines the importance of
drawing up local plans to take into account the environment in a
comprehensive and consistent way. Revisions to PPGs 11 and 12 will be
consulted on by the ODPM later in the year.
2. More information on AONBs is available here.