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Planning & Development

The Chilterns Conservation Board has a duty to advise on all planning matters, and comments on all aspects of the development process. The Board’s focus is on ensuring that the special qualities of the AONB are recognised and protected in all development plans.

The Board prepares its own Chilterns Buildings Design Guidance and Technical notes, which local planning authorities are invited to adopt as Supplementary Planning Documents. To promote this guidance, the Board, in conjunction with the Chiltern Society, organises an annual Chilterns Buildings Design Awards competition.

The Board does not prepare statutory planning documents and does not determine planning applications.

The Chilterns AONB covers parts of three counties, two unitary authority areas and eight districts and boroughs. To find your local planning authority click here. Each of these Councils prepares Development Plans. The Board comments on all emerging plans where there is potential for impact on the AONB.

At a more local level, we comment on individual planning applications. These vary enormously in scale, type and location, but have a common thread – if approved there would be an impact on the AONB (either positive or negative). Planning applications are examined from all angles and those with the potential for positive impacts will be supported. However, the vast majority of responses represent formal objections. You can read the responses the Board makes on planning applications and development plan consultations in the Planning Committee meeting papers available here.

The applications that result in formal responses neither fit into a single category, nor are they all the same size. However, there are certain types of application that do seem to occur more frequently than others which often result in comments being submitted. These are:

  • major housing developments in the AONB
  • urban expansions in the setting of the AONB
  • single, large isolated houses (new or replacement)
  • applications that involve intrusive lighting (especially floodlights)
  • development involving horses (particularly larger in scale and in prominent locations)
  • large scale agricultural or employment development

We often get contacted by people worried about proposed developments or current building work they have seen going on in the Chilterns. Sadly we don't have the resources to get involved in every single application in the Chilterns and we recommend that people use our documents to inform their own comments on planning applications: 

More information

If we haven’t covered the issue that interests you, or having visited the pages you feel you need further information on an AONB planning matter please contact the Chilterns AONB Planning Officer on 01844 355507 or planning@chilternsaonb.org 


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