How does an area becoming a designated national park affect planning?
You may have seen in the news that last month the Glover Report described the Cotswolds AONB as a “leading candidate” to adopt National Park status. If the Cotswolds AONB did indeed adopt National Park status how would this affect planning applications?
There is no doubt that planning rules would become incredibly restrictive. National Parks currently have the highest level of planning protection in order to preserve the landscape and it’s unique qualities. The Environment Act 1995 is clear that independent National Park Authorities shall be the sole local planning authority for their areas, with full planning powers – meaning applications would no longer be submitted via individual district councils.
As with the current Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB) status it would be imperative to consider the impact of any planning applications on the character of the existing landscape. Planning approval would be needed for extensions, cladding, verandas or balconies, certain raised platforms, curtilage structures, certain roof lights, with materials required to be consistent with the existing materials used in the surrounding area. There will essentially be a much larger number of additional factors that will need to be carefully considered in the initial design process before planning is submitted.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates as and when they are announced!