Public bodies are expected to be able to clearly demonstrate that they have considered the purposes of AONB designation in their decision making.
Section 85 of the CRoW Act requires that relevant authorities should ‘have regard’ to the purpose of AONBs ‘in exercising or performing any functions in relation to, or so as to affect, land’ in these areas.
Relevant authorities include statutory undertakers, regulators, parish councils, and holders of public office in addition to government and local planning authorities.
AONB Management Plan policies can be used to help assess the relevance of proposals to the designation purpose, the extent of their impact, and if necessary to formulate a proportional response.
Defra’s guidance on the Duty of Regard
High Weald Management Plan 3rd edition 2014-2019