Landscape policy and guidance

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Last updated: 12 March 2019

The Buckinghamshire landscape is protected and enhanced in the following ways:

Landscape designations

Approximately half of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is within Buckinghamshire. The AONB is a national landscape designation, which aims to protect the beauty of the very best, nationally valued landscapes. The protection is covered by legislation and is reflected in national and local planning policies. The Chilterns Conservation Board has a Management Plan that seeks to safeguard its special qualities and manage change.

National Planning Policy Framework

Requires local planning authorities to work across administrative boundaries to deliver strategic planning priorities including the conservation and enhancement of the landscape (156). This includes identifying and protecting areas of tranquillity (123). It also encourages sustainable development to be well sited and of a good design quality that responds to local character (58), protects and enhances valued landscapes (109. It also mitigates adverse effects through good design (65), ensuring development addresses the connection between people and place and is integrated into the environment (61)

Buckinghamshire’s Landscape Character Assessments (LCAs)

In contrast to landscape designations, LCAs are all encompassing, looking at all landscapes from degraded & industrial areas to special places. Landscape policies in local development documents should refer to these evidence bases. This is, encourage sensitive siting and design of development that minimises harm to the character and the valued qualities of Buckinghamshire’s landscapes. Guidelines set down within Buckinghamshire’s LCAs encourage landowners to, maintain and enhance local landscapes in a way that sustains landscape character and quality for future generations.

Local Landscape Designations

Managed by district councils, Local Landscape Designations are a well established and valued approach to protecting/guiding change in areas of particular landscape importance. In Buckinghamshire there are two types: Areas of Attractive Landscape (AALs) and Local Landscape Areas (LLAs). After the completion of LCAs, district councils have reviewed their local landscape designations. Currently Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe District Council have made the decision to retain them.

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