AONBs have the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty.
In these areas the conservation of natural beauty of the landscape and countryside is given great weight in planning policies and development control decisions.
There are two AONBs within Dorset designated because of their landscape quality and beauty:
- the Dorset AONB taking in some 1,128 square kilometres
- a large section of the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB taking in a further 278 square kilometres
Guidance on development within AONBs can be found in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
Major proposals will need to be proved to be in the public interest before being allowed to go ahead. We have to ensure that any planning permission granted for major developments in these designated areas should be carried out to high environmental standards. This can be done by adding appropriate conditions where needed.