Aerial View of Dedham © DV AONB

Planning and Development

There is a duty on all public bodies to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Dedham Vale AONB which includes Local Planning Authorities when they set planning policy or determine applications for development within or affecting the setting of the nationally protected landscape.  The Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Partnership seek to extend this level of protection to the whole of the Stour Valley. See October 2018 Position Statement on Planning Consultations below.

2019 Friday 25 January - OUTSTANDING PLANNING EVENT:
Planning in a Designated Landscape: Guides, Rules & Tools

REPORT on the Planning in a Designated Landscape event can be seen here.
Full programme can be seen here.
Richard Bate - Duty of Regard (1.7mb)
Alison Farmer - Natural Beauty & Special Qualities (4mb)
Peter Cosgrove - Tranquillity (3mb)
Jem Waygood - Use of Colour in Development (9mb) - full guide can be seen here
The event was an outstanding opportunity to learn about planning matters in the nationally designated AONBs. Attendees were people who work in planning, sit on a planning committee, are a developer or architect or simply have an interest in planning in the AONBs. The AONB team event featured national experts on planning policy, tranquillity, use of colour in design and factors contributing to natural beauty (the reason for the national AONB designation).


General Planning & Development Information:
The Dedham Vale AONB covers part of three district or borough Local Planning Authority areas and part of two counties.  The wider Stour Valley, which is in part proposed for an AONB extension, adds two further district councils.  Each of these authorities prepares Development Plans and the AONB team, on behalf of the AONB Partnership, will comment on these documents.

At a more local level the AONB team comments on individual planning applications that if approved would have a positive or negative impact on the primary purpose (to conserve and enhance its natural beauty) of the AONB.  Applications that frequently draw comments from the AONB team include:

  • Those of sufficient scale eg footprint and height that could detract from the landscape qualities of the area
  • Those that could significantly reduce the tranquillity of the area, through increased levels of noise and light
  • Those that could lead to a notable increase in disturbance, eg numbers of visitors
  • Those that could lead to a change in landscape character, urbanisation of the countryside or inappropriate change of use
  • Those that relate to changes to public rights of way or areas of public access
  • Those that seek to establish a precedent, move away from Development Plan policy or exception sites

If you need further information please contact us.

Downloads from this page:

2018 November Use of Colour - Guidance on the Selection and Use of Colour in Development 

2018 October - POSITION STATEMENT ON PLANNING CONSULTATIONS: The purpose of this Position Statement, which has been endorsed by the Joint Advisory Committee (JAC), is to provide clarity for local planning authorities, landowners and other interested parties about the planning proposals /applications that the AONB team would like to be consulted on.

2016 - details and the presentations from the Planning and Neighbourhood Plans in Outstanding Landscapes event on Thursday 3 March can be found here.

AONB Position Statement (June 2016) - Reduction of Light Pollution

Dedham Vale AONB Position Statement (March 2013) - Renewable Energy

Dedham Vale AONB Position Statement (July 2015) - Balloons and sky lanterns

National Planning Policy Framework

Setting of the Dedham Vale AONB - position statement (updated) 2016


Landscapes for life link image