Spacial Setting Analysis to Guide Planning Decisions

Planning Liaison

The AONB Planning Liaison Officer continued to provide specialist advice on AONB planning issues, assisting local authorities, parish councils, and the NAAONB.

Planning Event
The event provided Planning and Landscape officers from Bath & North East Somerset, Sedgemoor, Mendip and North Somerset councils with the latest guidance on AONBs.

Planning Applications and Consultations

  • 24 planning consultations were commented on. Many proposal sites are outside the boundary but in the setting of the AONB including
  •  large blocks of housing at Cheddar, Axbridge, Bleadon and Banwell
  • a large scale solar PV development near to Theale
  • a large wind turbine at Loxton and
  • a number of applications for campsites/ holiday park developments.

Consultations on development within the AONB included proposals for equestrian development, agricultural developments and applications for housing.

Neighbourhood Planning

Working with the Chew Valley Neighbourhood Plan Group the AONB Unit;

  • Evaluated the characteristics of the landscape and settlements.
  • Identified relative visual prominence of land, the sensitivity of the land to development and its relative tranquillity
  • Identified the likely effect of development upon the setting of the settlements.
  • Identified and documented key viewpoints and views.

Work to support the Cheddar Neighbourhood Plan Group progressed by developing landscape sensitivity study. With Sedgemoor District Council and the neighbourhood plan working group the Design Guide for Cheddar Gorge was reviewed to widen its scope and incorporate the whole village. A local level landscape character assessment for the Cheddar settlement area was also produced.



Specialist Landscape Consultation Service

To offset AONB Unit costs the Planning Liaison Officer continued to provide specialist landscape planning advice, one day per week, for Exmoor National Park.

Cheddar Gorge
The AONB Unit assisted in developing a vision for Cheddar and Cheddar Gorge, working with Longleat Estate, National Trust, Sedgemoor DC, Cheddar Parish Council and Visit Somerset.

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

Full Annual Review 2015-2016 (PDF download 2.5MB)