There are in effect two sides to planning: setting the rules (legislation and policy) for what types of development can take place and where, and making decisions on individual proposals for development on particular sites. This page is all about the latter – often called ‘development management’.
We make observations on development proposals to help the decision-maker consider whether the promoter of the development has taken proper account of the conservation and enhancement of the Chilterns AONB and its setting when putting their plans together.
Mostly, such proposals are in the form of ‘planning applications’, where the decision is made by the local planning authority (usually a district or unitary council) under the Town and Country Planning Acts. We also comment on proposals made under a wide variety of other consent regimes, including listed building consent, conservation area consent, local and neighbourhood development orders, development consent orders for nationally significant infrastructure projects, and, of course, ‘schedule 17’ applications for developments under the High Speed Rail Act 2017.
We will also assist local planning authorities and developers with ‘pre-application’ discussions for significant development proposals where resources allow, and contribute evidence to planning appeals and public inquiries.
Proposals for development in the Chilterns vary enormously in scale, type and location, but have a common thread – if approved there would be an impact on the AONB or its setting (either positive or negative). Proposals are examined from all angles and those with the potential for positive impacts will be supported. Frequently, we need to object to the principle of a development, but often we can seek improvements to proposals where this would make them acceptable. Note that the Board’s views carry no special legal standing.