AONBs share the same level of protection as National Parks, but unlike National Parks they do not have their own planning authority. Each local authority planning department within in the AONB are the ‘AONB planning authority’ responsible for planning applications, enforcement, permitted development etc. They have policies to ensure development and planning proposals take into account the need to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, and in reaching their decisions they have a duty to consider the impact of any proposed developments on the AONB.

The role of the AONB Partnership (JAC & AONB Unit) is to provide advice to the Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Herefordshire Council and Monmouthshire County Council on how a development proposal affects and impacts on the ‘natural beauty’ of the Wye Valley AONB. We do not comment on all planning applications, only those proposals and developments that are likely to have a significant detrimental impact on the AONB. Normally we only give advice if we consider it a significant or major development, whether alerted by the local planning authority or a member of the public. We do not get involved in local campaigns against proposed developments. We provide our professional advice on the impacts of developments on the AONB, primarily based on the statutory AONB Management Plan, which is a material consideration in planning matters.

If you have any queries or questions about how AONB status may affect your development proposals or planning applications, contact the planning department of the relevant local authority:

Monmouthshire County Council

Herefordshire County Council

Forest of Dean District Council

You can find out more about the role of AONBs in the planning process here

You can check the boundaries of the AONB on this map here.

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