Planning Application Requirements

Planning Application Advice

Planning Application Requirements

Final revised local list

Chiltern and South Bucks shared Planning Service has reviewed its local list of planning validation requirements. Having consulted and taken into account comments received we are now publishing our Final Revised Local List. These requirements will come into effect for all applications received on or after Monday 15th July 2019.

The new local requirements link to national and local policies and the information is required in order for us to be able to consider the submitted proposal and come to a decision on the validity of the application . Therefore, provision of this information at the point of validation reduces delays in processing and determining applications.

Information on the national and proposed local planning application requirements are detailed below. The requirements will depend on what type of application and development is being proposed. Please see the relevant checklists for a breakdown of the requirements and the criteria of when these will apply.

There are two checklists, where the requirements for the listed application types are similar.  If an application type is not listed on either of the checklists, then it is just the national planning validation requirements that apply and the particular requirements are stated toward the end of the respective application forms.


Below is detailed information on the validation requirements needed in order to be able to submit your application and get it right first time. Please note that on consideration of the application further details may be required, or where insufficient detail has been provided a revision of these may be required post validation to enable the case officer to reach a recommendation and a decision to be made.

Validation Checklists

The validation checklists below, identify when certain requirements are needed, based on the application type being submitted and dependant on the type of proposal and whether certain constraints apply or thresholds are met. Please use the checklists to identify the requirements needed on each application. The checklists are accompanied below by a section entitled 'List of potential requirements', then a section on 'Detailed information on the potential requirements' giving guidance on what is needed for each requirement, with relevant links to further information. Where there is no checklist for a particular application type, please refer to the checklist at the end of the national application forms.

Click Icon for pdf Validation checklist for FULL, VARY, OUTLINE and DETAILS application types [153.39KB] to downloadClick Icon for pdf Validation checklist for householder, lawful certificate and consent application types [114.46KB] to download
Full thumbnailHouseholder thumbnail


List of potential requirements

Specific Requirements

Applications subject to Environmental Impact Assessment
For projects requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment, an Environmental Statement (and non-technical summary) must be provided. See guidance on Environmental Impact Assessment.

Outline planning applications
Information about the proposed use or uses, and the amount of development proposed for each use, is necessary to allow consideration of an application for outline planning permission.An application for outline planning permission must also indicate the area or areas where access points to the development will be situated, even if access has been reserved.

General Requirements

Existing and Proposed Plan and Drawing Requirements

Below is a list of possible plan types. The type of plans needed will depend on the proposed development. It will be necessary to provide plans sufficient to describe and show changes at the site, in relation to the proposed development.

In order for us to easily establish that plans are drawn accurately to the stated scale, we ask that a scale bar is included on all plans.

General Document Requirements

Major Development Document Requirements

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Detailed information on the potential requirements

Application form, Ownership Certificate and Agricultural Land Declaration:

A standard application form needs to be completed and submitted with all planning applications. Applying online via the  Planning Portal is the Councils preferred way to receive applications. For applications received online via the Planning Portal, there is no need to send us any paper copies of your application, it automatically populate our systems with information and documents and makes processing applications quicker.

If you need to apply in hard copy, you are able to get the forms from the Planning Portal website and complete them by hand. Please supply us with one copy of all forms and documents, although more copies may be required for large and/or controversial applications.

All sections of the application form must be completed and where indicated, relevant information provided. Please ensure all certificates and declaration are signed and dated.  Any discrepancies or omissions may invalidate your application.  Please refer to each form's Checklist Section for guidance on that application type's national requirements.

A certificate which applicants must complete that provides certain details about the ownership of the application site and confirms that an appropriate notice has been served on any other owners (and agricultural tenants).

Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure (England) (Order) 2015

An application is not valid, and therefore cannot be determined by the local planning authority, unless the relevant certificate has been completed. It is an offence to complete a false or misleading certificate, either knowingly or recklessly, with a maximum fine of up to £5,000.

For details of:

  • Which ownership certificate should be signed?
  • Can a planning application be made on someone else's land?
  • What is an agricultural land declaration?

See Further information on ownership certificates

Application fee:

Most applications require a fee and there is guidance given when submitting online via the Planning Portal.  Alternatively, check their guidance to assess the required fee at  A guide to the fees for Planning Applications in England

Location Plan:

A location plan should be based on an up-to-date map. The scale should typically be 1:1250 or 1:2500, but wherever possible the plan should be scaled to fit onto A4 or A3 size paper. A location plan should identify sufficient roads and/or buildings on land adjoining the application site to ensure that the exact location of the application site is clear.

The application site should be edged clearly with a red line on the location plan. It should include all land necessary to carry out the proposed development (e.g. land required for access to the site from a public highway, visibility splays, landscaping, car parking and open areas around buildings). A blue line should be drawn around any other land owned by the applicant, close to or adjoining the application site.

Block/Site Plan:

In order for us to easily establish that plans are drawn accurately to the stated scale, we ask that a scale bar is included on all plans. The site plan should be drawn at a scale of 1:500 or 1:200 and should accurately show:

  •  The direction of North;
  •  The proposed development, including adverts, in relation to the site boundaries and other existing buildings on the site, with written dimensions including those to the   boundaries;

And the following, unless these would NOT influence or be affected by the proposed development:

  •  All the buildings, roads and footpaths on land adjoining the site including access arrangements;
  •  All public rights of way crossing or adjoining the site;
  •  The position of all trees on the site, and those on adjacent land that could influence or be affected by the development;
  •  The extent and type of any hard surfacing and boundary treatment including walls or fencing where this is proposed.

In order for us to easily establish that plans are drawn accurately to the stated scale, we ask that a scale bar is included on all plans. These should be drawn accurately to a stated standard metric scale, typically 1:50 or 1:100 and show clearly the proposed works in relation to what is already there. All sides of the proposal must be shown and these should indicate, where possible, the proposed building materials and the style, materials and finish of windows and doors. Where a proposed elevation adjoins another building or is in close proximity, the drawings should clearly show the relationship between the buildings and detail the positions of the openings on each property. Proposed new signage should be shown from a front and side elevation perspective, along with details of its size, material, colour, any supporting structures and details of illumination, if proposed.

Floor plans:

In order for us to easily establish that plans are drawn accurately to the stated scale, we ask that a scale bar is included on all plans. These should be drawn accurately to a stated standard metric scale, typically 1:50 or 1:100 and should explain the proposal in detail. Where existing buildings or walls are to be demolished these should be clearly shown. The drawings submitted should show details of the existing building(s), as well as those for the proposed development. New buildings should also be shown in context with adjacent buildings (including property numbers where applicable) and the sites boundaries.

Roof plans

In order for us to easily establish that plans are drawn accurately to the stated scale, we ask that a scale bar is included on all plans. A roof plan is used to show the shape of the roof and is typically drawn at a scale smaller than the scale used for the floor plans. Details such as the roofing material, vents and their location are typically specified on the roof plan.

Site sections and finished floor and site levels

In order for us to easily establish that plans are drawn accurately to the stated scale, we ask that a scale bar is included on all plans. These should be drawn accurately to a stated standard metric scale, typically 1:50 or 1:100 and should show a cross section(s) through the proposed building(s). In all cases where a proposal involves a change in ground levels, illustrative drawings should be submitted to show both existing and finished levels to include details of foundations and eaves and how encroachment onto adjoining land is to be avoided. Full information should also be submitted to demonstrate how proposed buildings relate to existing site levels and neighbouring development. Such plans should show existing site levels and finished floor levels (with levels related to a fixed datum point off site) and also show the proposals in relation to adjoining buildings. This will be required for all applications involving new buildings.

In the case of householder development, the levels may be evident from floor plans and elevations, but particularly in the case of sloping sites it will be necessary to show how proposals relate to existing ground levels or where ground levels outside the extension would be modified. Levels should also be taken into account in the formulation of a Design and Access Statement.

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Design and Access Statement:

A Design and Access Statement is a concise report accompanying certain applications for planning permission and applications for listed building consent. They provide a framework for applicants to explain how the proposed development is a suitable response to the site and its setting, and demonstrate that it can be adequately accessed by prospective users. Design and Access Statements can aid decision-making by enabling local planning authorities and third parties to better understand the analysis that has underpinned the design of a development proposal.

The level of detail in a Design and Access Statement should be proportionate to the complexity of the application, but should not be long.

For details of:

  • What applications must be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement?
  • What should be included in a Design and Access Statements for planning permission
  • What should be included in a Design and Access Statements for listed building consent

See Further information on Design and Access Statement

Where a planning application is submitted in parallel with an application for listed building consent, a single, combined Design and Access Statement should address the requirements of both. The combined Statement should address the elements required in relation to a planning application and the additional requirements in relation to listed building consent.

New dwellings schedule:

Where the proposal involves any new dwellings either houses or flats a schedule of the proposed floor space is required providing both internal and external gross floor space for each dwelling unit and an overall total for all new dwelling units proposed. This should be provided for all floors including basement level.

In floor space terms, where the total floor space proposed is equal to or greater than 1000 square metres the application is deemed to be a MAJOR development.

Heritage Assessment

In accordance with paragraph 189 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, revised 2018), it states that Local Planning Authorities should require applicants to 'describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets' importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance.'

Heritage assets would be required for both designated and non-designated heritage assets.

Designated heritage assets comprise of:

  • Listed Buildings
  • Conservation Areas
  • Scheduled Ancient Monuments
  • World Heritage Sites
  • Registered Parks and Gardens
  • Registered Battlefields
  • Protected Wreck sites

Non-designated heritage assets are buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions. These can include buildings identified as having local importance or positive contributors in designated heritage assets such as conservation areas.

Heritage statements are required for the following applications. Where it is not received the application will be made invalid until the relevant information has been received.

  • Listed Building Consents
  • Applications within the curtilage of a listed building
  • Applications for sites within a conservation area
  • Applications affecting Scheduled Monuments
  • Application sites within or affecting Registered Parks & Gardens
  • Applications affecting the setting of a heritage asset (adjacent to a listed building or conservation area)

The preparation of a heritage statement should be an integral part of the design process. It may form part of a Design and Access Statement where this may also be required. Heritage statements should ideally be prepared by suitably qualified professionals to ensure that it is of sufficient, accurate detail however there may be some flexibility in this dependent upon the nature and scale of the proposal. The level of detail should be proportionate to the proposal and significance of the heritage asset.

What to include:

1. Statement of significance

a. Relevant to the entire heritage asset(s) and a more detailed description of the parts/areas affected by the works/development.
b. This should demonstrate an understanding of the heritage asset(s). As a basis it should provide a description of the heritage asset(s), it should include reference to; the general appearance of the building or area, age (including phasing), character, architectural style, history, historical associations, construction of the building, layout and plan form, special details and features, details of materiality etc.
c. Generally significance should be assessed based on a series of values which are embodied within the heritage asset(s) that contribute towards its significance. These are categorised as aesthetic, evidential, historic and communal values. Historic England's Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance document.
As a minimum the relevant Historic Environment Record (HER) should be consulted.

2. Impact assessment and mitigation strategy

a. Impact of works/ new development on the significance of the heritage asset(s) and the steps taken to mitigate against any harm
b. Visual impact to heritage assets including settings and key views to and from, where relevant
c. Alterations or removal of built (historic) fabric
d. Potential of reversibility
e. Level of harm
f. Sensitivity of the design and siting
g. Programme of investigation should further information be required and recording of heritage asset particular where loss of areas of historic or architectural interest is proposed

3. Statement of justification

a. Requirement for works particularly where substantial alterations or loss is proposed
b. The consideration of other options and why they had been discounted particularly in terms of where repairs should be considered in the first instance
c. Benefits (heritage or public)

4. Assessment made by a specialist, where relevant

a. Feature of special historic, archaeological or architectural interest
b. Building or structure of particular construction technique i.e. timber framing

5. Structural and condition survey, where relevant

a. Required where significant alterations are proposed to a listed building (e.g. underpinning, additional structural supports etc.) or where relevant demolition is proposed within a conservation area
b. Structural surveys would need to be carried out by an appropriately qualified professional with experience in dealing with historic buildings. Defects identified would need to be accompanied by causes of the failures and remedies for the issue(s)/ options for repair, where appropriate
c. A condition survey would be required, where removal or loss of historic fixtures and/or fittings are proposed as part of the works. This would include, but not limited to windows, doors and staircases in Listed Buildings and shopfronts and relevant walls in Conservation Areas

6. Repairs schedule, where relevant

a. Where more general works are also proposed e.g. refurbishment works, cleaning of built fabric, re-pointing of brick or flint work, stone repairs etc.

7. Building regulations compliance (where relevant)

a. Where proposals would require further compliance with Building regulation requirements this would need to be appropriately included as part of the application process, particularly listed building consents. This would include, however not limited to, means of escape, energy efficiency, fire proofing, sound and heat insulation, flues, vents etc.

Where substantial alterations, loss or demolition is proposed, building (or heritage asset) recording may also be required and will usually be written as a condition to any approved application. This would need to be carried out separate to a Heritage Statement.

Historic England's guidance document, Understanding Historic Buildings: A guide to Good Recording Practice provides information on levels of recording and types of information and recording techniques required. The level of recording would be highlighted as part of any condition and the content would need to be agreed prior to final submission.

Copies of the final document would need to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority and relevant Historic Environment record office.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION - as a starting point

Arboricultural Statement

Where there are trees and/or hedges within the application site, or on land adjacent to it that could influence or be affected by the development (including street trees), information will be required on which trees are to be retained and on the means of protecting these trees during construction works. This information should be prepared by a suitably qualified and experienced tree consultant.

Survey information should be provided using current BS5837 Trees in relation to construction - Recommendations. Every arboricultural statement should include the following:

  • Tree Survey;
  • Tree Constraints Plan;

And where trees are going to be affected by the proposals, the arboricultural statement should also include the following:

  • Arboricultural Implications Assessment;
  • Arboricultural Method Statement;
  • Tree Protection Plan.
Affordable Homes Form

For the purposes of validation the Councils will be using the threshold set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as follows:

  • 5 or more self-contained homes are proposed in an Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and/or
  • 10 or more self-contained homes are proposed and/or
  • Site area is 0.5 hectares or more

Where the application meets the above NPPF threshold, it only be validated if accompanied by a signed and completed Icon for pdf Planning Application - Affordable Homes Form [217.6KB].

Applicants should be aware that, notwithstanding these validation requirements, during the course of considering any planning application the Council will assess whether the development is capable of accommodating 10 homes to meet the NPPF threshold. Where it is considered that the development could accommodate 10 homes the Council's relevant affordable housing policy will be applied, that is:

The South Bucks Core Strategy requires 40% affordable housing on all schemes of 5 or more homes or on sites of 0.16 hectares and above (where there is a net gain in dwellings).

Policy CS8 of the Core Strategy for Chiltern District (adopted November 2011) requires that in new developments which contain 15 dwellings or more, at least 40% of dwellings within the development shall be affordable. In developments with less than 15 dwellings, there should be:

  • At least four affordable housing units on sites which have 12 to 14 dwellings
  • At least three affordable housing units on sites of 10 or 11 dwellings;
  • At least two affordable housing units on sites of 8 or 9 dwellings;
  • At least one affordable housing unit on sites of 5 to 7 dwellings;
  • On sites of 1 to 4 dwellings, a financial contribution for each new dwelling towards the provision of affordable housing elsewhere in the District
Agricultural Statement 

Any application involving an agricultural holding, including applications for agricultural or other rural dwellings including equestrian related dwellings, must provide details of the extent of the holding and the nature of the agricultural activity being carried out, as well as a detailed agricultural appraisal justifying the development sought, and demonstrating the essential need for a dwelling.

The agricultural appraisal must be undertaken by a reputable independent agricultural consultant, and submitted as part of the planning application. All documents will be publicly viewable.

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Evidence of Marketing Statement (Loss of Employment Only)

Applications involving the change of use of a site or building in an existing employment use (B class use) will require a statement identifying how the site and/or premises have been marketed for an employment use and/or alternative economic uses. This statement should be in accordance with the document - Icon for pdf 'Guidance Note: Marketing Requirements in Relation to Core Policy 10 (Employment) [342.21KB]

In circumstances where proposals do not fully meet the guidance set out in the above document, it will be for applicants to demonstrate through their marketing report that their marketing / advertising campaign was sufficiently wide-ranging; of adequate length; that the asking price and terms were realistic; and that specialists appropriate to the type of use were engaged.

Please contact the Planning Policy Team at South Bucks District Council for further information on 01895 837200 or e-mail

Flood Risk Assessment

In specified instances an appropriate Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) will be required at the planning application stage, to demonstrate how flood risk from all sources of flooding to the development itself and flood risk to others will be managed now and taking climate change into account.

A site-specific flood risk assessment should be provided for all development in Flood Zones 2 and 3. In Flood Zone 1, an assessment should accompany all proposals involving: sites of 1 hectare or more; land which has been identified by the Environment Agency as having critical drainage problems; land identified in a strategic flood risk assessment as being at increased flood risk in future; or land that may be subject to other sources of flooding, where its development would introduce a more vulnerable use.

The Flood Risk Assessment should establish:

  • whether the proposed development is likely to be affected by current or future flooding from any source;
  • whether it will increase flood risk elsewhere;
  • whether the measures proposed to deal with these effects and risks are appropriate;
  • whether the development will be safe The FRA should be proportionate to the degree of flood risk and the scale, nature and location of the proposed development. An FRA will assist in directing the most vulnerable development to areas of the lowest flood risk (unless there are overriding reasons to prefer a different location).

Proposals should also take account of the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for South Bucks District,

A surface water drainage strategy should include the following:

  • A drainage layout
  • A method of surface water disposal following the drainage hierarchy set out in the PPG
  • Prioritises sustainable drainage components which control the quantity of surface water runoff which also improve water quality, local amenity and biodiversity as required by Paragraph 170 of the NPPF.
  • Existing runoff rates and volumes along with proposed runoff rates and volumes for a range of return periods up to the 1 in 100 year (with an allowance for climate change where applicable)
  • Calculations to determine the required storage volumes
  • Whole life maintenance and management plans which sets out the maintenance activities required for each SuDS component, the frequency of these activities and who will be responsible for maintaining said features
  • Ground conditions (including infiltration rates BRE 365 and groundwater levels)
  • Details of geology and hydrogeology
  • Topographical survey
  • Existing overland flow routes and how these will be managed through the proposed development site
  • Where possible investigates opportunities to provide betterment
Hydrology Report

If the site falls within the one of the identified catchment areas for Burnham Beeches Special Area of Conservation (SAC) (Withy, Nile, Unnamed or Portman Estate Stream catchments) applicants must adopt the principles of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) as set out in the SBDC Development Management Guidance Note: Hydrology in Burnham Beeches (February 2014). The following is required:

Householder extensions and residential developments where the net increase of dwellings does not exceed five units:

  • SuDS strategy and quote carried out by an instalment company.

For all other developments:

  • Hydrology Report and SuDs Strategy.  Within the report soil conditions and hydrology should be established on a bespoke basis to include storm water run-off, water table height and water quality. Local ground conditions, groundwater levels and hydrology will establish which SuDS measures are most appropriate.
Ecology Assessment - Biodiversity Checklist is currently under review

Chiltern and South Bucks support a wide range of species and habitats, along with a number of statutory and non-statutory sites of nature conservation value. Development has the potential to adversely impact upon these species, habitats and protected sites and Local Planning Authorities are legally required to give due regard to these potential impacts.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out Government planning policy for England. A key aim of the NPPF is to ensure sustainable development, meaning development must be carefully planned to protect future generations. The NPPF is supplemented by information set out in Planning Practice Guidance.

Government Circular 06/2005 (Biodiversity and Geological Conservation) places statutory obligations on Local Planning Authorities in respect of how ecological assessments must be considered within the planning process. Paragraph 99 in particular sets out how the presence or otherwise of protected species must be established before planning permission is granted, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

These Biodiversity Checklists have been developed to help you assess whether there is likely to be any requirement for Ecology Assessments OR where one is needed, what aspects need to be considered. If it comes to light after validation that the proposal may have an impact upon biodiversity, this information will need to be provided post validation and this may result in a delay in deciding your application.

There are 3 checklists covering different ecological aspects

Section No.

Checklist type

If impacted, assessment and document required

Section 1

Sites Protected for Nature Conservation

Ecology Statement OR
Habitat Regulations Assessment if appropriate

Section 2
Section 3

Legally Protected Species

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal AND
Habitats Surveys if appropriate

If you answer YES to any questions in Sections 1 to 3, this indicates that your proposed development has the potential to impact upon a nature conservation site, protected habitats or protected species, and suitable ecological assessments will need to be carried out - see Sections 4A and 4B in the Biodiversity Checklists document for details of what assessments are required to be done and documents to be submitted with your application.

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)

Major developments should incorporate sustainable drainage systems unless there is clear evidence that this would be inappropriate. The systems used should:
a) take account of advice from the lead local flood authority;
b) have appropriate proposed minimum operational standards;
c) have maintenance arrangements in place to ensure an acceptable standard of operation for the lifetime of the development; and
d) where possible, provide multifunctional benefits.

A surface water drainage strategy should include the following:

  • A drainage layout
  • A method of surface water disposal following the drainage hierarchy set out in the PPG
  • Prioritises sustainable drainage components which control the quantity of surface water runoff which also improve water quality, local amenity and biodiversity as required by Paragraph 170 of the NPPF.
  • Existing runoff rates and volumes along with proposed runoff rates and volumes for a range of return periods up to the 1 in 100 year (with an allowance for climate change where applicable)
  • Calculations to determine the required storage volumes
  • Whole life maintenance and management plans which sets out the maintenance activities required for each SuDS component, the frequency of these activities and who will be responsible for maintaining said features
  • Ground conditions (including infiltration rates BRE 365 and groundwater levels)
  • Details of geology and hydrogeology
  • Topographical survey
  • Existing overland flow routes and how these will be managed through the proposed development site
  • Where possible investigates opportunities to provide betterment
Planning Statement

Generally required but not exclusively for more complex applications. A planning statement can provide an overview and explanation of a proposal. It can include details of consultations that have been carried out before the application is made.

This statement should identify the context and need for a proposed development and include an assessment of how the proposed development accords with relevant national, regional and local planning policies. It may also include details of consultations with the local planning authority and wider community/ statutory consultations undertaken prior to submission. However, a separate statement on community involvement may also be appropriate.

Energy Statement

To accord with Policy CS5 of the Core Strategy for Chiltern District (adopted November 2011) or Core Policy 12 of the South Bucks Local Development Framework Core Strategy (adopted February 2011) all developments of more than 10 dwellings or 1,000 square metres of non-residential floorspace should submit the following:

  1. Energy statement giving details of how at least 10% of the energy requirements of the development will be met from decentralised and renewable or low carbon sources or
  2. A statement, including evidence, to demonstrate why 1) is not feasible or viable 
Transport Assessment

Required for Major developments with significant transport implications. The coverage and detail of the assessment should reflect the scale of the development and the extent of the transport implications of the proposal. For simple schemes, the transport assessment should simply outline the transport aspects of the application. For major applications, the assessment should illustrate accessibility to the site by all modes and the likely split of types of journey to and from the site. It should also give details of proposed measures to improve access by public transport, walking and cycling, to reduce the need for parking associated with the proposal and to mitigate transport impacts. These assessments enable us to evaluate the application and provide a basis for discussion on details of the scheme such as the level of parking, siting of buildings and entrances and the need for further measures to improve access arrangements to the site. Details of any firm proposals to improve the access to a site (particularly when included in the local transport plan) should be taken into consideration when assessing the suitability of a site for development.

Landscape Visual Impact Assessment

An assessment of the landscape or visual impact of a development.

A Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) may be required as part of planning applications for sites that are considered particular sensitive in landscape or visual terms. As a general rule LVIAs will be required for large-scale developments, many developments in or adjacent to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and developments visible from important public advantage points.

See current guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment produced by Landscape Institute and Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.

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