What is an AONB?
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas. There are 41 aonbS in England and Wales.
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The purpose of the AONB designation is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area. The designation gives a formal recognition to an area’s landscape importance and allows for the development of communities and economic activity. However development is only permitted in ways that enhance the landscape character of the AONB.
The designation reflects the need for integrated action to conserve the landscape through sustainable development.
The Cornwall AONB
The Cornwall AONB was designated in 1959 under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act. the Camel estuary section was added in 1981.
The Cornwall AONB demands positive, pro-active management to address the pressures it faces. These pressures include renewable energy pressures, changing farming practices, recreational and tourism demands, urban development, rural housing issues, traffic growth and climate change. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 put a statutory duty on Local Authorities to produce Management Plans for AONB's and put a duty on 'Relevant Authorities' to have regard to the purposes of AONB's' when carrying out their functions.This year the Government instructed planning authorities to give 'great weight' to AONB landscpes when making planning decisions.
The Cornwall AONB Management Plan was adopted by Cornwall Council in 2011 following the original plan adopted by members of the Cornwall AONB Partnership in July 2004.