Landscapes and Planning Publications

Landscapes, Planning and the AONB

These pages contain everything you need to help you understand the landscape character of Cranborne Chase AONB and how that fits into the planning process.

Cranborne Chase was designated due to its particular landscape characteristics and the planning team work to ensure that these features are protected.

On 23rd November 2023 the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs changed the name Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to National Landscape. However, the statutes, regulations, and government guidance have not been changed, so National Landscape and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty should be seen as synonymous.

AONB Planning Policy

The prime purpose of the AONB designation is to conserve and enhance the natural and scenic beauty of the landscape. If you are working on a planning application, these pages contain our position on various planning issues, fact sheets and guidance notes.

Cranborne Chase AONB Landscape Character

Landscape Character Assessment helps identify key characteristics, local distinctiveness, and sense of place.

The link to the document below provides both an introduction and sufficient details to identify, and work with, the landscapes of this AONB and is a shortened version of the Landscape Character Assessment

Cranborne Chase & Chalke Valley Landscape Character Assessment

This Landscape Character Assessment was commissioned in 2017 by the Cranborne Chase & Chalke Valley Landscape Partnership to support a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Landscape Partnership programme, which provides grants for the conservation and enjoyment of areas of distinctive landscape character.

The study was prepared by Chris Blandford Associates (CBA).

The overall aim of the Cranborne Chase & Chalke Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme is to enable a wide range of people to engage in the conservation and enjoyment of the area’s historic, natural and cultural landscapes.

The purpose of this study is to provide a Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) of the area to inform the Partnership’s Landscape Conservation Action Plan to be submitted in support of the HLF bid.

Planning Protocol

This Protocol sets out how the AONB Partnership and local authorities will consider planning matters affecting the AONB. The document contains the October 2005 document as well as the September 2006 Review and Refinement document.

Image shows cover of Right Tree, Right Place publicationRight Tree, Right Place

This guidance is intended for communities, individuals and landowners who are interested in planting trees in Cranborne Chase AONB. It shows you how to maximise the benefits from planting trees and hedgerows, takes you through the stages needed to get the right tree in the right place, and provides specific advice relating to planting trees in four particular types of landscapes. It also provides a list of sources of further information.

Section 85 Advice & Guidance for Relevant Authorities

Section 85 (A1) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 was reinforced by the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023. It places a statutory duty on all relevant authorities to seek to further the purposes of a National Landscape’s designation.

This guidance has been produced for ‘Relevant Authorities and those in Public Office’, to help the fulfilment of their duties.

Landscape and Rural Highways

Position Statements

The AONB position statements set out its current position on a variety of topics. These include light pollution, historic parks and gardens, the relevance of the setting for the AONB and Historic Landscape Characterisation.


Fact Sheets & Good Practice Notes

The AONB fact sheets and good practice notes provide information on topics of relevance to landscape and planning within the AONB. Current documents provide information on Section 85 duties, the Local Development Framework, the European Landscape Convention and Historic Landscape Characterisation.

Landscape Character Assessment

Assessment which moves beyond the level of detail provided by the 1995 AONB assessment. This document presents a fully integrated view of the landscape incorporating all the features and attributes that contribute to the special and distinctive character of the AONB

Please note, this is a low resolution version – for further information see the Landscape Character Assessment page

Planning and Landscapes Booklet

This booklet is an abbreviated, easy to read, version of the Integrated Landscape Character Assessment 2003. It was prepared for the 2006 Planning seminar and summarises the key landscape characteristics of the 8 Landscape Types and 15 Landscape Areas, focussing particularly on the character of the settlements.

Historic Landscape Characterisation

Exploring the history and archaeology of the fascinating landscape of the AONB. It also provides an introduction to historic landscape characterisation and explores how the AONB is conserving and enhancing this special heritage through Historic Environment Action Plans.

For more information visit the AONB Historic Landscapes Website

Landscape Sensitivity

This study explores the inate fragility and robustness of the landscapes of this AONB.

Planning Reports

The Chase, The Hart and The Park

An exploration of the historic landscapes of the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs National Landscape

Edited by Katherine Barker and based on papers given at a one-day
seminar held in Sixpenny Handley in November 2006.

With contributions by: Katherine Barker, Gordon Le Pard, Caroline Cheeseman, Martin Green, John Gale and Dorothy Ireland.

 – Embracing areas of Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire and Somerset by Katherine Barker – May 2006