The AONB Planning Liaison Officer continues to provide specialist advice on AONB planning related issues and consultation. Assisting local authorities, parish councils, and the NAAONB. Key areas of work have included:
Continued to develop and refine the Special Qualities Initiative;
• Set up a dedicated website to display and explore the special qualities
• Rationalised the Special Qualities to 15
• Made modifications and refinement, improving the wording and images
• Presented and initiated discussion on Special Qualities with Westbury Society, Priddy History Society, Winscombe and Sandford PC, Wells and St Cuthbert Out PC, Compton Martin PC, Cheddar PC, B&NES Landscape Officer, and Avon Wildlife Trust.
• Drafted the Chew Valley Project that has already led to the Chew Valley Visitor Guide.
Landscape Character Assessment – combined the existing LCAs to form a single, map based resource.
• Commented on 17 planning applications including 5 large solar arrays within the setting of the AONB, an application for 79 houses at Bleadon just outside the AONB and an application for 3 wind turbines at Cheddar Head.
• Hinkley C Connection project – continued to work to influence positive outcomes for the Hinkley C project. In particular liaising closely with Natural England’s landscape specialist to agree a Statement of Common Ground (SoCG) between National Grid and the Mendip Hills AONB.
• Attended 4 meetings with Priddy Neighbourhood Planning Group
• Met with Wells and Cuthbert Out PC and Winscombe and Sandford PC to discuss how the AONB could assist with the development of local plans.
Specialist Landscape Consultation Service
• Commissioned to provide specialist landscape planning advice one day per week for Exmoor National Park since January – Sept 2015
• Providing Specialist Landscape Planning Consultation advice to Chew Valley Neighbourhood Plan working group.
Cheddar Gorge – renewed discussions with Longleat Estates and National Trust to find areas where we could agree and work together. Helped to initiate the establishment of a Vision for Cheddar working group.
Working with other protected landscapes the Planning Liaison officer attended;
• Joint S&SE and SW Planning Officers meeting
• SW Planning Officers meeting
• Cranborne Chase AONB Dark Skies and Street Lighting workshop