Planning FAQ’s

1. Do you have any specific guidance for development in the AONB?

Development plans always have policies relating to development in AONBs. The Mendip Hills Partnership has produced Agricultural Building Design Guidelines and Horse Related Development Guidelines which have been adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance by all the relevant local planning authorities. You will find these on our Planning Applications page.

2. Do I need planning permission?

It is always best to consult your local planning authority, explaining in writing exactly what you would like to do and exactly where it is. Requests for a pre-application opinion are always best done in writing so that no misunderstanding can take place on either part.

Mendip Dictrict Council
Sedgemoor Dictrict Council
Bath and North East Somerset Council
North Somerset Council

3. I think some unauthorised development or activities are taking place – can I do anything, or can you stop it?

The AONB Unit and Partnership do not have any planning powers so the best route is to contact the Planning Enforcement Officer in the relevant authority and find out if planning permission has been granted and if not, request that a visit is made to the site to establish what is happening.

4. Would any form of development be acceptable in the AONB?

The AONB Unit Landscape Planning Officer, Cindy Carter monitors planning applications referred to her by the five local authorities covering parts of the AONB. These applications are tracked via a computer mapping system enabling development trends to be monitored across the area and the implications for the AONB Management Plan assessed. The information can also assist local authority partners when monitoring the effectiveness of their planning policies that aim to safeguard the special qualities of the AONB. If this information could also help you or your local group please email

5. Is my house within the AONB Boundary?

Have a look at this Magic Website