South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by 6XL174

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									South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty



AONB Partnership Committee Meeting

                            to be held at

      10.00am on Friday 16th March 2007
                                   at
                Noss Mayo Village Hall



                  Agenda & Papers




        South Devon AONB Staff Unit, Follaton House, Totnes, TQ9 5NE
    telephone 01803-861384     e-mail enquiries@southdevonaonb.org.uk
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South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                   16 March 2007




                 AONB Partnership Committee Membership


Members nominated by local authorities

South Hams District Council                          Cllr Roger Hallett
                                                     Cllr Anthony Vale
                                                     (officer advising: Ken Carter)
Devon County Council                                 Cllr John Hart
                                                     Cllr Julian Brazil
                                                     (officer advising: Aidan Winder)
Torbay Council                                       Cllr Christine Carter
                                                     (officer advising: Mike Fox/Tracy Brooks)
Plymouth City Council                                 Andy Roberts

Members nominated by statutory agencies

Natural England                                      Sarah Manning
Environment Agency                                   Paul Sadler
Natural England                                      Simon Dunsford
Government Office for the South West                 Heather McBeth

Members appointed at the AONB Annual Conference

Landowning/farming community                         Richard Foss
Business community                                   Trevor Lethbridge
Environmental organisations (NGOs)                   Phil Sheardown
Community/voluntary groups                           Alan Stapleton
Parish Councils                                      Val Mercer



Also attending

AONB Manager                                         Robin Toogood
AONB Project Officer                                 Roger English
AONB Communications Officer                          Diane Lethbridge




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                                           Agenda

Item 1      Minutes of the previous Committee Meeting and matters arising         Page 4

Item 2      Management Plan Review                                                Page 8

Item 3      AONB communications and marketing                                     Page 12

Item 4      Renewable energy                                                      Page 14

Item 5      AONB Partnership Committee issues                                     Page 18

Item 6      Staffing and funding update                                           Page 20

Item 7      Sustainable Development Fund update                                   Page 22

Item 8      “Round the table” update from Partnership Committee members           Verbal reports




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     South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                    16 March 2007
     Agenda Item 1

                       MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE
              SOUTH DEVON AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY
                          PARTNERSHIP COMMITTEE
                               HELD AT ASHPRINGTON VILLAGE HALL,
                                  ON FRIDAY 8TH DECEMBER 2006

1.    INTRODUCTIONS & APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Those present were:

Alan Stapleton                          Representative: voluntary groups
Cllr Christine Carter                   Torbay Council
Cllr John Hart                          Devon County Council
Cllr Julian Brazil                      Devon County Council
Aidan Winder                            Devon County Council (on behalf of Frances Griffith)
Cllr Roger Hallett (Chairman)           South Hams District Council
Ken Carter                              South Hams District Council
Paul Sadler                             Environment Agency
Phil Sheardown                          Representative: environmental organisations
Richard Foss (Vice Chairman)            Representative: farming & landowning community
Sarah Manning                           Natural England
Simon Dunsford                          Natural England
Tracy Brooks                            Torbay Council
Trevor Lethbridge                       Representative: business community
Val Mercer                              Representative: parish councils

Roger English                           AONB Projects Officer
Vicky Sharley                           AONB Information & Administration Officer

Members of the public observing:        Mr and Mrs C Cox

Apologies for absence were received from:

Andy Roberts                            Plymouth City Council
Cllr Anthony Vale                       South Hams District Council
Frances Griffith                        Devon County Council
Heather McBeth                          Government Office for the South West
Mike Fox                                Torbay Council

Robin Toogood                           AONB Manager


2.    MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING AND ANY MATTERS ARISING

2.1 The Minutes of the AONB Partnership Committee held on 15th September 2006 were accepted as a
    true record.

3.    AONB ACTION PROGRAMME 2004-07: PROGRESS REPORT ON THE EXISTING PROGRAMME

3.1 The AONB Project Officer briefed Committee members on the current state of progress toward
    delivering the wide range of projects set out in the Management Plan Action Programme 2004-07.
    Members recalled that a new format was trialled for providing information on project progress that
    covered activity on all 139 projects contained in the programme. A final report on the delivery of the
    Action Programme will be compiled following the end of the financial year.

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3.2 It was noted that the report will also contain a summary of financial and other resource gearing
    achieved over the life of the Action Programme with a range of information presented by
    Management Plan strategic theme.

          The Partnership Committee

          a) Noted the Action Programme progress report and confirmed that the modified format met the
             Committee’s requirements;
          b) Requested that more specific information should be provided on the Sustainable
             Development Fund projects;
          c) Agreed that Landscape Character Assessment should be selected as a theme for further
             examination at a future meeting of the Committee.


4.    AONB ACTION PROGRAMME 2007-09: SHAPING THE NEW PROGRAMME

4.1 The AONB Project Officer briefed members on activities undertaken to develop a new Action
    Programme for 2007-09 to follow on from the current Action Programme which draws to a close at
    the end of March 2007.

4.2 Following the last Partnership Committee meeting in September a series of facilitated workshops
    have been held which covered the 8 strategic Action Programme themes. During these workshops
    suggestions for amendments and additions to AONB Priorities for Action were identified to provide an
    up to date framework for the new Action Programme.

4.3 A wider web-based community survey has also been conducted in parallel with this work in order to
    include local community led projects and their suggestions for AONB Unit involvement where
    relevant.

4.4. Further work is planned between now and the next Committee meeting in March 2007 to finalise
     details and address any gaps.

          The Partnership Committee:

          a) Noted the content of the developing AONB Action programme for 2007-09;
          b) Agreed that climate change is an area in the Action Programme that needs to receive a
             greater focus;
          c) Requested that “Geodiversity” be considered as an area in the Action Programme that the
             AONB Unit takes a strong lead in over the next two year period;
          d) Requested that the AONB Manager draft a letter on behalf of the AONB Partnership, to be
             sent to Natural England, highlighting its concern over the impact that EU fines imposed on
             DEFRA are for delays in meeting single farm payment deadlines are having on Natural
             England funding programmes and farming communities in particular.


5.    VEHICULAR USE OF GREEN LANES

5.1 The AONB Project Officer gave a report on the context and background of vehicular use of green
    lanes as a starting point for the Committee’s continued discussion.

          The Partnership Committee:

          a) Noted the use of green lanes in South Devon by motor vehicles, including the practical and
             legal constraints and current policy of Government and the highway authorities;




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           b) Agreed that the Committee’s discussions should be reported back to all AONB Parish
              Councils and Parish Paths Partnership groups to help collate information on the frequency of
              use and the accurate level of problems to assist the Highways Authority in understanding the
              scale and nature of any green lane nuisance.

6.     RENEWABLE ENERGY: POSITION STATEMENT

6.1    The AONB Management Plan contains a specific action that the AONB Partnership Committee will
       adopt a position statement on renewable energy. Earlier this year a presentation on renewable
       energy technologies was given by the Devon Association for Renewable Energy, following which, the
       AONB Unit commissioned DARE to prepare a short report analysing the various renewable energy
       technologies and setting out clearly the impacts and suitability of each.

6.2    Based on the report, a draft position statement was prepared for consideration. This report was
       presented to the Committee in March of this year. The Partnership Committee considered the draft
       statement on renewable energy and agreed that following strengthening of the statement it should be
       brought back to the Committee for adoption at the next meeting.

6.3    Further research has now been undertaken and a revised draft was presented to the Committee for
       adoption.

           The Partnership Committee agreed that following minor amendments, the draft statement on
           renewable energy should be brought back to the next meeting for consideration.


7.     PLANS AND STRATEGIES: RESPONDING TO CONSULTATION DOCUMENTS

7.1 The Project Officer provided members with a report setting out the range of recent consultations
    where the AONB Staff Unit has provided input. These ranged from formal representations relating to
    Local Development Framework planning polices, to specific comments and advice on site
    management plans and project programmes. The Project Officer invited the Partnership Committee
    to ask for further information if they wished.

           The Partnership Committee:

           a) Noted the list of recent consultation documents to which the AONB Unit has responded;
           b) Drew to the attention of the AONB Unit a forthcoming Environment Agency led consultation
              on River Basin Planning as part of the Water Framework Directive; and Torbay’s Local
              Development Framework consultation on their Statement of Community Involvement.


8.     NATIONAL AND REGIONAL AONB ACTIVITIES

8.1    The South Devon AONB is closely linked to the 50 AONBs of England, Wales and Northern Ireland
       through the work of the National Association of AONBs; and it works closely with the AONBs and
       National Parks of South West England through the South West Protected Landscapes Forum. The
       Project Officer drew the Committee’s attention to the current activities being undertaken at a national
       and regional level.

           The Partnership Committee noted the activities of the National Association of AONBs and the
           South West Protected Landscape Forum.




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9.     “ROUND THE TABLE” VERBAL UPDATES ON RELEVANT ISSUES BY PARTNERSHIP
       COMMITTEE MEMBERS

9.1    Alan Stapleton advised members on a coastal marathon taking part on Saturday 24th February from
       Beesands towards Prawle Point via Start Point, on to Millbay and back to Beesands. A number of
       members were considering participating as a relay team if possible representing the South Devon
       AONB. Alan Stapleton will investigate as to whether this is possible.

9.2    Richard Foss suggested that an afternoon site visit to Michael Rogers’ Sustainable Development
       Project should be considered for a future Committee meeting, to which members agreed.

9.3    Sarah Manning advised members that Natural England are launching a series of campaigns. One
       campaign has been launched to date focussing on Health. Further printed details of all 4 campaigns
       will be brought to the next meeting, but these are currently available on the Natural England website;
        Health
        Marine Issues
        Climate Change
        Sustainable Land Management

9.4    Roger English confirmed that the AONB Unit are now showcasing over ten new circular walks which
       are downloadable for free from the AONB website. A recent AONB press cutting pack is available
       from the Administrator to those who would like one. The AONB Unit is holding a celebratory event
       this Sunday at Bozomzeal Farm in Dittisham, to light a beacon to mark the 50 th anniversary of
       AONBs, all Committee members are invited to attend.

9.5    Ken Carter advised members that the South Hams District Council Public Open Space Strategy is
       now subject to a public consultation stage.

9.6    Paul Saddler of the Environment Agency asked members to note World Environment Day next year
       on 5th June, and if anybody has any suggestions for events to go into the AONB events programme
       to contact either him or Trudy Turrell.


10.    SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FUND: PROGRESS REPORT

10.1 The AONB Project Officer confirmed that a full update on this year’s Sustainable Development Fund
     will be given during the afternoon’s presentation.

             The Partnership Committee noted the progress of this year’s SDF grant aided projects.


11.    SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS FOR 2007 AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR NEXT MEETING

11.1 Next year’s schedule of meetings was adopted by the Committee as follows:
      16th March 2007
      15th June 2007
      14th September 2007
      7th December 2007

11.2 It was agreed that the next meeting is to be held at Noss Mayo village hall with the possibility of a
     boat trip on the Yealm.




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Agenda Item 2
                            AONB Management Plan Review
Purpose of the report
1.   The current South Devon AONB Management Plan runs from 2004-2009. It is a statutory
     requirement that AONB Plans are reviewed every five years. Although 2009 seems a long way
     off, the process for undertaking that review needs to start now and this report aims to set out an
     orderly programme to ensure that the review can be conducted and completed by March 2009 in
     accordance with the statutory requirement.

Summary of current situation
2.   The current AONB Management Plan 2004-2009 is still active and relevant and being
     implemented. Committee members will recall that the Action Programme (part 2 of the current
     plan) is being updated at present. At the last Partnership Committee meeting, consideration was
     given to a report on progress with the current Action Programme and it was agreed that a fuller
     report would be completed and published immediately after the end of this financial year. Work is
     still in progress to update the revised Action Plan and this will be brought to the next meeting of the
     Partnership Committee for approval. It must be remembered that this work is all connected with
     the current Management Plan and will give us a revised Action Programme to take us up to 2009.

3.   The Management Plan as a whole needs reviewing and this process must be completed and
     adopted by the end of March 2009, taking us on from 2009 to 2014.

The statutory requirement
4. The legal requirements for AONB Management Plans are set out in the Countryside and Rights of
   Way Act. This requires that:

        every AONB must have a Management Plan which must be reviewed at intervals of not more
         than 5 years;

        the relevant Local Authorities must act jointly to carry out the review of the Management Plan;

        based on the outcome of this review, they should determine whether it is necessary to amend
         the Plan;

        they should make any such amendments that they consider appropriate;

        they should publish a report on the review specifying the amendments they have made.

5. In practice, the Local Authorities will normally ask the AONB Partnership Committee and the AONB
   Staff Unit to undertake the review and publication of the AONB Management Plan on their
   behalves. However, as far as the legal requirement is concerned it is our local authorities (Devon
   County Council, South Hams District Council, Torbay Council and Plymouth City Council) that
   ultimately have the statutory duty for ensuring that this is undertaken and for adopting the revised
   Plan.

6. It should be noted that there is a huge variation in scope and scale of what a five-yearly
   Management Plan review could look like. At one extreme, a review could conclude that a current
   Management Plan is still so up to date, relevant and fit for purpose, that no amendments or
   changes are needed at all. At the other extreme, the review might conclude that an entire
   fundamental re-write of the whole document is needed, starting again from scratch. One of the first

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    tasks in the process is therefore to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the current Plan and
    identify the scope of the task ahead.

Guidance about reviewing AONB Management Plans

7. The Countryside Agency (now Natural England) has recently published updated national guidance
   on AONB Management Plan, including advice on the process, timescale and scope for undertaking
   the reviews.

8. The published guidance takes the view that an AONB Management Plan statutory review should
   aim to be more than just the legal minimum requirement – indeed that it should result in a new
   document. The reasons could be summarised as follows:

       a Management Plan acts as a kind of “shop window” for AONB Management and therefore
        needs to be well presented and relevant.

       circumstances around us have changed over the last five years and a Plan therefore needs
        updating.

       the first round of AONB Management Plans had shortcomings that need to be addressed.

9. It is worth noting some of the weaknesses identified about the first round of statutory AONB
   Management Plans, published by all AONBs in 2004 following the Countryside and Rights of Way
   Act. This can help to identify where further work might be needed.

         General weaknesses of the first round of AONB Management Plans - the national picture

Special qualities of the AONBs
Some Plans failed to state what landscape features make the area special and distinctive.

Vision statements
Some vision statements were bland, not place-specific, and failed to recognise potential for change.

Evidence, research and information
Some Plans made insufficient use of evidence to underpin policies and actions.

Inconsistency
There was a lack of common structure, terminology and identity across the Plans.

Scope
Many Plans were working on too broad a range of issues that were not all to do with the primary purpose of
AONB designation.

Historic environment
Many Plans failed to give sufficient attention to history and archaeology.

Action planning
Some Plans did not give clearly targeted actions, robust policies and clear priorities

Climate change
Most Plans failed to address climate change.



10. It is also worth noting what new requirements and recent changes need to be addressed:

       A new requirement for AONB Management Plans to be subject to a statutory “Strategic
        Environmental Assessment” procedure.


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       A need to take account of the shifting policy framework (Regional Spatial Strategy, Local
        Development Framework, estuary management plans, Shoreline Management Plans, Marine
        Bill, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, renewable energy, agricultural economy, etc etc).

The Management Plan review process
11. The stages and timescale for reviewing the Management Plan can be set out as a flow diagram like
    this:

Consultation                      Management Plan Stage              Strategic Environmental
                                                                     Assessment stage (“S.E.A.”)
Formal announcement               Formally announce intention to     Announce requirement for SEA
April/May 2007                    undertake review

                                                                     Set context & objectives for SEA
                                                                     (scope, evidence base)

Stakeholder input                 Undertake review of previous
May-Jun 2007                      Plan – identify gaps, successes,
                                  continuing relevance


First consultation stage          Decide what to amend, and how
Sep 2007                          (identify new issues and
                                  pressures, clarify expectations
                                  and scope)
                                                                     Invite comments on SEA framework
                                                                     and scope
Throughout 2007- Mar 2008         Undertake research, gather
                                  evidence and information


Main stakeholder input            Prepare new Plan and Action        Prepare SEA alternatives and
Jan-Mar 2008                      Programme content (workshops,      environmental plan
                                  topic groups, etc)


Formal consultation stage         Publish new Plan and Action        SEA consultation stage
Jun-July 2008                     Programme first draft for
                                  consultation


Sep-Dec 2008                      Make final amendments, with
                                  statement of response to
                                  representations. Prepare final
                                  draft of Plan


Formal adoption                   Present final draft to local
January-March 2009                authorities for adoption


May-June 2009                     Printing and publication of
                                  adopted Plan and Action
                                  Programme. Hold launch event.

12. It is clearly important that the review process is kept manageable and economical in terms of the
    amount of time and money it requires. The AONB Unit will be looking at a number of ways of
    making the process efficient and concise:

       identifying those parts of the current Management Plan which do not need work undertaken;

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      working jointly other AONBs in the region in commissioning the South West Regional
       Observatory to undertaken some of the preliminary data-gathering work; to identify
       opportunities for commissioning work on climate change; and to clarify regional policies;

      working jointly with other AONBs in Devon to explore collaborative opportunities for research,
       historic landscape input and Strategic Environmental Assessment;

      using recent consultation exercises already undertaken by local authorities in connection with
       Community Strategies and Local Development Frameworks to provide information about
       community views and priorities.

13. The AONB Unit is already working with the local authorities to clarify the expectations and scope of
    the Management Plan review process and written guidance is due to be produced shortly.

Conclusion
14. The task of producing an AONB Management Plan is a demanding and time-consuming one.
    Expectations from a range of organisations are high. Meeting those expectations is challenging,
    especially given that the AONB Unit also has an on-going project programme to deliver at the same
    time, and given that funding constraints mean that AONB Plans cannot deliver all that is hoped of
    them. This means that the Management Plan review process must be undertaken in an
    economical and carefully focused manner.

Recommendation
It is recommended that the AONB Partnership Committee:

    I. Notes the requirements for the statutory review of the AONB Management Plan;

   II. Notes the various stages in the process, especially those when Partnership Committee
       members will be asked to provide input;

   III. Seeks formal confirmation from the local authorities that the task of undertaking the review
        should be undertaken on their behalves by the AONB Unit overseen by the Partnership
        Committee.




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Agenda Item 3

                     AONB Communications and Marketing
Purpose of the report
1. This report provides an overview of the current AONB communications programme and examines
   the scope for new activities.

Background – what we are trying to achieve
2. Our policies for communication and awareness are set our in the AONB Management Plan. They
   are:

      To promote widespread understanding and awareness of the AONB designation, aiming for its
       status to be regarded as an asset and a benefit to local communities and businesses.

      To use a range of communication media to raise awareness and foster understanding of the
       AONB, in particular the distinctive features of the AONB, the AONB as a working landscape,
       and exploring and enjoying the AONB.

3. In preparing for the AONB Management Plan, public awareness surveys conducted in the AONB
   and surrounding areas of the South Hams and Torbay during 2003 revealed that 37% of those
   questioned were either unaware of the AONB designation at all, or were aware but did not know
   where the boundary is.

4. The Management Plan therefore sets out a range of priorities:

      Implement a communication programme that will raise awareness and appreciation of the
       AONB designation.

      Implement a series of communication programmes that will raise awareness of the distinctive
       features of the AONB, including landscape, wildlife, culture, history and land management
       traditions.

      Implement a communication programme that will raise awareness and understanding of the
       AONB as a working landscape and promote local produce and purchasing and influence
       consumer demand for high quality and distinctive local foods, woodland produce and local
       services

      Promote quiet recreational enjoyment of the AONB through the provision of information and
       interpretation materials and promote understanding, appropriate expectations and considerate
       behaviour among recreational users of the countryside.

5. How the programme is delivered
6. The communications programme is delivered through a range of media including publications,
   press and public relations, shows, and website:

      Publications
      Events leaflets
      Newsletter (funded for the last 3 years by ‘Life into Landscape)
      Annual Report
      Out and About leaflet
      Food Trail leaflet
      Walks and Trails leaflets
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        Press releases
        Issued for specific news: events, launches, e.g.
        Launch of Greenway Walk 21st March 2007
        50th anniversary beacon lighting 10th Dec 2007

        Shows and Exhibitions
        Shows and Exhibitions attended annually at Yealmpton, Totnes and Kingsbridge
        other one-off displays
        talks to local groups on request

        Website
        General information and special sections with:
        On-line walks and trails
        Fact sheets

        Collaborative activities with other AONBs
        SW regional AONB calendar
        Attending the Great Outdoor Show at the NEC

Other AONBs
7. This programme is broadly in line with the work being carried out by other AONB Units. There are
   examples of projects which have allowed them to invest heavily in certain communications work.
   For example, Blackdown Hills AONB Unit has been able to use the EU-funded “Leader”
   programme for a variety of initiatives ranging from local foods, shops, and celebration of local
   culture.

What of the future?

8. There is potential to develop more of a campaigning style of approach on selected issues – such as
   light pollution, tranquillity, Japanese knotweed. Some success has been achieved with the
   campaign to increase consumer awareness of the link between local food purchase and the
   conservation of the landscape they value. The ‘Working the Woods’ project is seeking to promote
   local wood products.

9. The South Devon AONB celebrates its golden anniversary in three years time (South Devon AONB
   was formally confirmed as an AONB in 1960) – there is an opportunity to apply for Heritage Lottery
   funds to celebrate 50 years of the South Devon landscape.

10. The AONB Unit could look for opportunities to sponsor the weather forecast on local commercial
    radio or support other local initiatives to raise its profile with residents.

11. However, the AONB Unit has limited time and cash, and these would need to be properly
    resourced.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Partnership Committee:

    a)     Considers the current range of communications activities

    b)     Recommends how it should be developed, bearing in mind funding constraints

Author
Communications Officer

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South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                       16 March 2007
Agenda item 4
                                        Renewable Energy
Purpose of the report
1.    This report seeks to conclude the Committee’s consideration of its renewable energy position
      statement and draws attention to recent relevant planning applications.

Position statement
2.    At the last two meetings of the Committee, members have given consideration to the text of a
      position statement on renewable energy. The Committee resolved that further re-drafting would
      be needed. The text has therefore been amended in-line with the Committee’s comments and is
      attached. Members are invited to consider whether this is now in a satisfactory state that can be
      adopted, or whether further changes are needed. The altered text is underlined for sake of clarity
      but the underlining will be removed in the final version.

Recent planning applications
3.    Members may be aware that a number of wind energy generating schemes have been dealt with
      by the planning authorities recently. For information, these were as follows:

Planning Application     Location                     Result             AONB Unit Input
Small,     roof-mounted Newton Ferrers                Planning           None
turbine serving a single                              permission
dwelling         (1.75m                               granted by SHDC
diameter blade)
A single 12.5* metre East Prawle                      Planning           Informal comments via SHDC
turbine serving a group                               permission         Landscape Officer expressing
of buildings                                          granted by SHDC    concerns over the visual
                                                                         impacts over a wide area of
                                                                         open plateau
Three       95*     metre Near Goveton                Decision awaited   Letter    of    representation
turbines                                                                 attached setting out concern
                                                                         at landscape impacts
Outline application for Associated with the Decision awaited             Request submitted for balloon
two 90* metre turbines  proposed Sherford new                            to be flown to the relevant
                        community                                        height so that landscape
                                                                         impacts can be properly
                                                                         assessed.     Future position
                                                                         reserved.
      * Height measurements are to blade tip


Recommendation
It is recommended that the Partnership Committee:

(1)      consider the revised text to the position statement on renewable energy and resolve whether or
         not it is ready adoption;

(2)      note the recent planning applications relating to renewable energy and the responses submitted
         by the AONB Manager.

Author
AONB Manager
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                   Renewable Energy in the South Devon AONB

    A position statement for consideration and adoption by the AONB Partnership Committee

Introduction

The Partnership Committee of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is
committed to adopting a positive approach to the development of renewable energy technologies,
while at the same time having regard for the primary statutory purpose of conserving and
enhancing the natural beauty of the area.

The AONB Management Plan 2004-2009 includes policy P/PD5: “to adopt a supportive approach
to the development of sensitively sited, small scale or innovative renewable energy projects,
having regard for their appropriateness in an AONB location, the need for environmental impact
assessment, the benefits to the community and emerging government energy policy.” There is
also an action A/PD4: “investigate and adopt a position on renewable energy developments.”

This position statement has been informed, in part, by research and analysis undertaken on
behalf of the AONB Partnership Committee by the Devon Association of Renewable Energy.

Responsibility for approving energy installations rests with the statutory planning authorities at
local, regional and national level. The Partnership Committee is seeking, through this position
statement, to contribute constructively to the development of Planning Policy for the area.

Position Statement on Renewable Energy in the South Devon AONB

The AONB Partnership Committee recognises:

   the overriding need to reduce energy use and improve energy efficiency and conservation;

   the need to reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and to generate a more sustainable
    energy supply, based on cleaner “renewable” technologies and a reduction in the emission of
    carbon dioxide;

   that the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can play its part in this, having
    seas, rivers, climate and agricultural land which have the potential to provide renewable
    energy to meet the area’s needs;

   that a wide range of rapidly developing energy opportunities is available, many operating at
    different scales with a huge variation in impacts on soils, air and water quality, biodiversity,
    historic and cultural features, and landscape;

   that some renewable energy developments can bring valuable benefits to the economy,
    communities, employment and land management of the area.



The AONB Partnership Committee therefore advocates:
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South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                    16 March 2007


   the adoption of high standards of energy efficiency in the design and construction of all new
    buildings, with the aim of securing “good” or “excellent” standard in the BREEAM
    environmental ratings system;

   the planting and active management of woodlands in appropriate locations, to act as a “carbon
    sink” and to act as a sustainable source of woodfuel;

   the development of small sensitively sited renewable energy installations where the impacts
    are local in sale, provide a demonstrable net environmental gain and where the energy is used
    close to the site of the generating installations. These will operate at an individual farm,
    household or community scale, have minimal transport or transmission impacts and be
    unobtrusive in the landscape;

   the development of community-owned renewable energy schemes;

   the retrofitting of small renewable energy schemes (solar hot water, photovoltaics, woodfuel,
    etc) to existing buildings, where this can be done without harm to the character of historic
    structures or the wider landscape;

   that particular attention is paid to the cumulative impact of schemes to avoid obtrusive
    impacts associated with small scale but widespread development;

In respect of large scale energy production, the AONB Partnership Committee considers:

   that renewable energy installations operating at an industrial scale, and which will have an
    intrusive impact on undeveloped and tranquil landscape by virtue of their size, transmission
    infrastructure, traffic generation, noise or other characteristic, are likely to be incompatible
    with the purposes of AONB designation;

    that such developments should follow a sequential test by being located outside the AONB
    and that a choice of site within the AONB should be rigorously justified;

   that particular care should be taken in maintaining the setting and skylines of the AONB and
    the views into and out of the AONB, including proposals located outside the AONB boundary
    but which impact on the AONB itself;

   that any planning permissions for renewable energy developments should include a
    requirement that infrastructure and plant should be decommissioned and removed from site
    when energy generation ceases.

Review

The Partnership Committee will keep this statement under review and amend it in the light of
experience, the development of technologies and our understanding of the subject.




                                                 16
                                                                                                        th
South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                                     16 March 2007
Planning application for three wind turbines near Goveton: copy of letter of
representation by AONB Manager.
Mr M Elliott                                              Direct dial telephone: 01803-861142
                                                          E-mail: robin.toogood@southdevonaonb.org.uk
Senior Planning Officer
South Hams District Council                               Our ref: AONB/RT/VS
Follaton House                                            Your ref:
Plymouth Road
Totnes                                                               th
                                                          Date:     8 February 2007
TQ9 5NE


Dear Mr Elliott

Your reference ME/LP/08-19/0110/07: Planning application for three wind- turbines on land at Beech Tree
Farm

This representation is in response to the planning application received by South Hams District Council for the
construction of three electricity generating wind-turbines north of Kingsbridge.

The AONB Office has significant concerns about the landscape impacts of the proposed development.

Reasons for the comments

The concerns relate to the dominant and obtrusive visual impact of the proposed development on the character
and scenic beauty of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the boundary of which lies only some
600m away from the development site.

The close proximity of the proposed wind turbines to the AONB boundary, the height of the structures, and the
open plateau landform, would make the turbines an obtrusive and dominant feature across a large swathe of the
open sky-line of the AONB itself. Indeed they would have AONB landscape occupying in total some 270 degrees
of encirclement, leaving aside the undesignated land running northeast from the proposed turbine site. The
mapping provided by the applicants illustrates a zone of visual influence of the whole turbine structures extending
to the high coastal plateaux over 10km away and beyond.

The character of the landscape is described and illustrated in the published AONB Management Plan, pages 18
to 19, which draws particular attention to the windswept open plateaux with panoramic views and the gently
rolling land surface. The Plan notes that certain categories of development can be particularly intrusive to the
skylines of the AONB and includes wind energy turbines amongst these (issue I/PD5 on page 43). The AONB
Management Plan policy P/PD3 on page 43 seeks to protect the open views both into and out of the AONB.

The land use of the area is mixed farming with a pastoral character, and with tranquillity and stillness as an
important component. The impact of blade flicker from the turbines would make them particularly noticeable.
The application material acknowledges that the development would have an adverse impact on the AONB but
argues that this would be only moderate because of the small number of turbines. However, despite the fact that
“only” three turbines are proposed, these three would still constitute major industrial structures over 90 metres tall
impacting on an open rural landscape of national importance

The AONB is a statutory national designation in which the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty is the
primary object of designation. County Structure Plan Policy CO3 stresses the need to ensure that development
proposed outside but adjacent to an AONB boundary does not damage the natural beauty of the AONB itself.
This policy is echoed in the South Hams Local Plan and the draft Regional Spatial Strategy.

It is acknowledged that the generation of renewable “clean” energy is a matter of great importance, but the
current application is not compatible with the need to maintain the undeveloped character and distinctive qualities
of the nationally designated landscape of the AONB.

Yours sincerely



Robin Toogood
South Devon AONB Manager
                                                       17
                                                                                             th
South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                            16 March 2007
Agenda item 5

                         AONB Partnership Committee Issues
Purpose of the report
1. This report draws attention to a number of issues relating to the membership and chairmanship of
   the Partnership Committee, as well as forthcoming meetings.

Forthcoming changes
2. District Council elections in May will lead to a change in Partnership Committee membership, with
   both District Council members (Cllrs Hallett and Vale) having decided to stand down this time. New
   representatives will be nominated by South Hams District Council immediately after the election.

Chairmanship
3. With the standing down of Cllr Hallett in May, the Committee will need to elect a new Chairman at its
   next meeting in June. Committee members are invited to consider the options. The Committee can
   either:

     (a) Wait until the next meeting and simply elect a Chairman from the Committee members then
         present. (This is the model we have followed so far). Or…

     (b) Our constitution also allows for the appointment of an external “independent” Chairman from
         the wider community. Such as person would need to be an enthusiastic advocate of the AONB
         cause, be a well-respected figure who is knowledgeable about the issues and area; and
         someone who is politically impartial. (This model is one used by some other AONBs.) If the
         Committee decides to pursue this option, an active process of “head-hunting” and recruitment
         would be needed over the next three months.

4. It is entirely up to the Committee to decide which option it wishes to pursue. In either event, the
   normal term of Chairmanship is two years.

Forthcoming meetings
5.    Members are reminded that the dates for Partnership Committee meetings for the remainder of
      2007 have been scheduled as follows:
      15th June
      14th September
      7th December

6.    Members may wish to consider options for the venue and theme of the next meeting. Members
      have expressed a wish to give consideration to the subjects of climate change and Landscape
      Character Assessment and either of these could provide a theme for our next meeting in June.

Annual Open Forum

7.    The proposed date for the 2007 Annual Forum is Wednesday 20th June at the Flavel Centre in
      Dartmouth. It is easily accessible by public transport. The facilities are excellent with tiered seating
      in the auditorium, and additional exhibition area.

     The proposed theme is about encouraging the conservation of land and buildings by householders
     and landowners new to the AONB.


                                                    18
                                                                                        th
South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                       16 March 2007

      Buildings Management in the South Devon AONB
      Renovating and repairing property
      An overview of the most common forms of renovation, the use of local materials and methods

      Managing land for non farmers in the South Devon AONB
      What to do with ’more than a garden’
      Practical issues, wildlife, advice

8.    The intention is to use the forum to launch a series of workshops on rural skills offering
      communities and individuals the opportunity to learn about the characteristic natural and build
      resources of the AONB, and to learn traditional land management, building renovation and
      maintenance skills. These will be funded as part of the Sustainable Development Fund.

Sporting Achievement
9.    Two members of the Partnership Committee, Alan Stapleton and Paul Sadler, both successfully
      completed the coast path half-marathon run between Beesands and East Portlemouth in February.
      Congratulations!

Recommendation
It is recommended that the Committee:

      I. Records its appreciation for the services of Councillors Hallett and Vale, who will be standing
         down in May:

     II. Gives consideration for arrangements for electing a new Chairman at the next meeting;

     III. Gives consideration to the theme and location of the next meeting of the Partnership
          Committee in June;

     IV. Considers the proposed arrangements for the Annual Open Forum meeting;

     V. Records it congratulations to members who completed the recent coast path half-marathon run
        in the AONB in February.




                                                 19
                                                                                       th
South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                      16 March 2007
Agenda item 6

                    AONB Unit Staffing and Funding Update
Purpose of the report
1.   In the absence of a pre-meeting today of the Core Funding Group, this report provides information
     about matters relating to AONB Unit staffing and project funding.

Background
2. Staffing and financial matters are normally dealt with by the separate Core Funding Group meeting.
   However, because clarification is still awaited on a number of issues related to funding at the time
   of writing, a Core Funding Group meeting has been postponed until June. However, these notes
   provide a brief update on relevant matters of general interest to Partnership Committee members
   as a whole.

Staff change
3. Members will be aware that the AONB Unit’s Administration & Information Officer Vicky Sharley is
   leaving to take up a new career in youth advisory work. Arrangements are in hand to recruit a
   replacement on the same terms and conditions. Temporary secretarial cover has been arranged
   until Vicky’s successor is in post.

AONB Unit Funding and Memorandum of Agreement

4.   The AONB Unit’s business plan for the 2007-08 financial year ahead has been submitted to the
     core funding authorities. The funding required to cover the core costs (overheads) at the AONB
     Unit has been confirmed by South Hams District Council and Devon County Council, although
     formal notification is still awaited from Natural England at the time of writing. However, it is
     expected that the necessary funding will be confirmed in due course. This is expected to provide
     for a 0.6% increase over the 2006-2007 budget.

5.   It is pleasing to report that Plymouth City Council has indicated its willingness to become a core
     funding authority and make a small annual contribution.

6.   The Memorandum of Agreement that provides a funding framework for the AONB Unit is due for
     renewal this year.

AONB Unit project funding

7.   The outcome of our bids for project funding for the year ahead is still awaited. This includes
     funding for the Sustainable Development Fund. Our project programme will remain uncertain until
     funding is confirmed.

8.   However, the AONB Unit is involved in a number of other projects with separate funding sources
     which are already confirmed. These include the Avon Catchment Sensitive Farming Initiative, the
     Slapton Coastal Adaptation Programme and the Green Tourism Scheme.

9.   Further funding is being sought in collaboration with other Devon AONBs from a range of sources
     including EU INTERREG funding, Devon Renaissance, and Devon County Council.




                                                 20
                                                                                    th
South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                    16 March 2007

Conclusion

10. These notes are for information only at this stage. The relevant issues will be given further
    consideration at the next meeting of the Core Funding Group, by which time the financial picture
    will be clearer.

Author
AONB Manager




                                                 21
                                                                                      th
South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                      16 March 2007


Agenda item 7

                     Sustainable Development Fund Update
Purpose of the report
1. This report updates the Committee on the current situation with Sustainable Development Fund
   applications.

Allocation of funding for 2007-2008
2. The AONB Grant Advisory Panel met on Tuesday March 6th to make provisional allocations of
   Sustainable Development Fund grants for the coming 2007-08 financial year. The notes of the
   meeting are attached, setting out the list of applications received and decisions made. At the time
   of writing, we have not yet received an offer of Sustainable Development Fund for next year from
   Natural England. As soon as the funding is confirmed, we will be in a position to make formal
   offers of grants to the respective applicants.

3. It will be noted that the Grants Advisory Panel has provisionally arranged to meet again on May 8 th,
   subject to there being sufficient funds to distribute and subject to our having received new
   applications.

Current year projects
4. The Sustainable Development Fund projects being supported in the current year are generally
   progressing well. A summary table is attached listing the projects and identifying their current
   position. A further more detailed report will be brought to the June meeting of the AONB
   Partnership meeting by which time the projects will have been completed.

Recommendation

5.   It is recommended that the AONB Partnership Committee notes the current position with the
     AONB Sustainable Development fund in the current and forthcoming financial years.




                                                  22
                                                                                                  th
South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                                  16 March 2007

Summary of position regarding 2006/07 SDF grant aided projects


SDF
          Applicant               Project Title                   Comments / progress update 23.02.07
 No.
045    Mike Rogers          The Underwood Centre          Some issues with match funding but all AONB elements
                                                          on track and SDF grant aid more than 50% matched with
                                                          other funds
                                                          Offered £12,000
                                                          Claimed to date £0
047a   Devon                Eco-Active                    All on track
       Development                                        Offered £15,000
       Education                                          Claimed to date £12,115.44
058    Sharpham             Wild   about       Wildlife   All on track
       Outdoors             Garden                        Offered £2,400
                                                          Claimed to date £978.59
059    Kingsbridge LA21     Grassroots                    Some slight slippage re website design and
       group                                              demonstration dates may impact slightly on end date of
                                                          project keep some of planned activity will take place in
                                                          April 07 but all spend will have been completed by
                                                          31.3.07
                                                          Offered £4,950
                                                          Claimed to date £1,336.61
060    Torbay Coast         Headspace                     Delayed start date due to match funding queries. All
       and Countryside                                    progressing smoothly now and due to complete on time.
       Trust                                              Offered £5,000
                                                          Claimed to date £0
061    Stoke    Fleming     Stoke Fleming                 Complete
       Parish Council       Community Composting          Offered £1,355
                                                          Claimed to date £1,355
064    Dartmouth MCTI       Dart Valley Trail             Withdrawn
065    FWAG & Aune          River Avon Catchment          Project being delivered as part of wider catchment
       Conservation         Farm Advisory Work            sensitive farming initiative which is progressing well.
       Association                                        Offered £3,600
                                                          Claimed to date £0
067    Robert    Owen       Gribble       Conservation    Change in staffing has meant significant delays to the
       Communities          Area                          start date of this project however reallocation of tasks
                                                          within Robert Owen Communities work programme
                                                          means project should complete on time.
                                                          Offered £3,000
                                                          Claimed to date £0
068    BTCV                 Get Active!                   All on track
                                                          Offered £5,000
                                                          Claimed to date £0
070    Centre         for   Co-ordinated     Woodfuel     Project as a whole suffered some slippage due to delays
       Sustainable          Initiative                    in confirmation of match funding. Installations lined up for
       Energy         (&                                  this financial year (awaiting final confirmation) and
       SWPLF)                                             2007/08 should S. Devon funding be confirmed.
                                                          Offered £10,000
                                                          Claimed to date £0

continued………..




                                                     23
                                                                                               th
South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                               16 March 2007

SDF
           Applicant              Project Title                  Comments / progress update 23.02.07
 No.
072    Community             Grown Down the Lane         All on track
       Supported                                         Offered £2,000
       Farming                                           Claimed to date £1,800
073    Totnes         and    South Hams Action for       Complete
       District              Renewable Energy            Offered £1,000
       Sustainability                                    Claimed to date £1,000
       Group
074    Devon Wildlife        South Devon      Wildlife   All site survey work completed with disappointing results
       Trust                 Sites Project               in terms of the number that were suitable for designations
                                                         as CWS however DWT anticipate that the project will
                                                         complete on time and having designated the required
                                                         CWS.
                                                         Offered £5,000
                                                         Claimed to date £0
075    Working         the   Woodfair South       West   Saltram House have asked that the event be postponed
       Woods                 Partnership                 until late Spring early Summer 07 which would mean that
                                                         the event would take place outside the financial year
                                                         grant was offered for so alternative S. Devon location is
                                                         being sought
                                                         Offered £1,500
                                                         Claimed to date £0
078    Soil Assoc.           Living Landscapes           All on track
                                                         Offered £3,000
                                                         Claimed to date £0
079    South         Hams    Dartmouth   Festival   of   Complete awaiting final report and claim.
       Food          Drink   Food                        Offered £4,000
       Assoc.                                            Claimed to date £0




                                                    24
                                                                                                       th
     South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                                  16 March 2007
                         MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE
                SOUTH DEVON AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY
                            PARTNERSHIP COMMITTEE
                                    SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FUND

                                    GRANTS ADVISORY PANEL
                                     HELD at HARBOUR HOUSE, KINGSBRIDGE
                                       ON Tuesday 6th March 2007 at 2.30pm

     Attended by:
               Cllr Julian Brazil     Devon County Council (chairman)
               Kay Dawson             South Hams District Council (attending as a substitute for Ken Carter)
               Trevor Lethbridge      Representative: business community
               Alan Stapleton         Representative: community & voluntary groups
               Val Mercer             Representative: parish councils
               Alan Stapleton         Representative: parish & voluntary groups
               Richard Foss           Representative: farming & landowning community
               Phil Sheardown         Representative: environmental organisations (NGOs)

               Liz Davey              AONB Community Officer
               Vicky Sharley          AONB Administrator

1.   INTRODUCTIONS AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

     Cllr Anthony Vale                South Hams District Council
     Ken Carter                       Head of Landscape & Leisure - South Hams District Council

2.   DECLARATION OF INTEREST

     Julian Brazil declared an interest in grant application number SDF/092 and SDF/096.

     Alan Stapleton declared an interest in grant application number SDF/095.

     Trevor Lethbridge declared an interest in grant application number SDF/100 and SDF/102.

3.   MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING AND ANY MATTERS ARISING
                                             th                           th
     The minutes of the meeting held on 20 April and continued on 27 April 2006 were approved as a correct and
     true record.

4.   SUMMARY OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FUND POSITION 2006-2007

     The AONB Community Officer summarised the current position of grant aided projects for 2006-2007. It was
     confirmed that the majority of projects were on track for completion by the end of this financial year and that grant
     claims would be submitted accordingly. However, SDF/075 the South West Woodfair would not now be
     progressing due to difficulties relating to identifying a venue and shortage of time. The panel members agreed
     that the grant allocated to the Woodfair project, £1500, should be re-allocated to the Eco-Active phase 1 project
     who have indicated that they have sufficient demand for their service, and the capacity to deliver within this
     current financial year.

     It was AGREED that the Community Officer should commission 150 South Devon AONB SDF recognition
     plaques for £353 from Metrosigns. The plaques will be distributed to projects with a ‘physical output’ element e.g.
     composting facility as a condition of grant.

5.   CONSIDERATION OF APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
     Consideration of new applications SDF/090 to SDF/105. 15 applications had been received, with a total value of
     £86,781.20. The applications and decisions were as follows:



                                                           25
                                                                                                      th
     South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                                16 March 2007
SDF                                                                       Project       Grant
              Applicant                  Project Title                                                          Decision
 No.                                                                      Value £    Sought £
090    SHDC with Kingswear Hillhead Footpath Link                          20,000       5,000                 Award 2,500
       P.C                                                                                           It is to be suggested
                                                                                                    that a Parish Council
                                                                                                   contribution be sought
091      SHDC with Ashprington        Ashprington     to   Sharpham         9,810        3,810                Award 1,905
         P.C                          Green Link                                                     It is to be suggested
                                                                                                    that a Parish Council
                                                                                                   contribution be sought
092      SHDC       with      West    West Charleton Path Link             20,000        5,000                Award 2,500
         Charleton P.C                                                                               It is to be suggested
                                                                                                    that a Parish Council
                                                                                                   contribution be sought
      The panel AGREED a point of principle – Where an application is seeking funds to develop local infrastructure
      (e.g. footpaths) or facilities the budget should include approximately 10% (minimum) contribution in match
      funding from the Parish Council / local community.

SDF                                                                       Project       Grant
                 Applicant                     Project Title                                                    Decision
 No.                                                                      Value £    Sought £
093      SHDC      with    Devon      Strete Gate Biodiversity       &      5,000       2,500                Award 2,500
         Discovery                    Orienteering Trail
094      Totnes      Sustainability   Renewable Energy for All            3,398.70    1,261.20             Award 1,261.20
         Group
095      Kingsbridge    Agenda21      South Hams Eco Trail                  2,470        1,350   Refused
         Group (inc. South Hams                                                                  It is to be advised that
         Society)                                                                                more focus is needed
                                                                                                 in the application, if to
                                                                                                 be re-submitted for re-
                                                                                                 consideration.
096      Devon       Development      Eco-Active Phase 2                   18,480        9,240                Award 9,240
         Education
097      Devon Wildlife Trust         Cetacean Recording Network            9,965       7,465    Refused
098      Working the Woods            Woodcert                             51,320       1,905                Award 1,905
099      BTCV                         Green Footsteps                      49,500      10,500                Award 7,875
100      Greenway Recycling           Greenway            Recycling        61,250       6,750                Award 6,750
                                      Development Programme
101      DEEM                         Galmpton    Creek    Heritage        16,000      12,000                 Award 8,000
                                      Project                                                        It is to be suggested
                                                                                                    that a Parish Council
                                                                                                   contribution be sought
102      Centre for Sustainable       Co-ordinated         Woodfuel       355,000      10,000                Award 10,000
         Energy                       Initiative
103      South Devon AONB Unit        Rural Skills Workshops                4,000        2,000              Award 2,000
                                                                                                    Project application to
                                                                                                     be peer reviewed by
                                                                                                    another AONBs GAP
104      South Devon AONB Unit        Japanese Knotweed         control    13,000        6,500              Award 6,500
                                      and awareness raising                                         Project application to
                                                                                                     be peer reviewed by
                                                                                                    another AONBs GAP
105      South Devon AONB Unit        Reduction of Light Pollution          3,000        1,500              Award 1,500
                                                                                                    Project application to
                                                                                                     be peer reviewed by
                                                                                                    another AONBs GAP
Total                                                                                                        £64,436.20
                                                                                                   (SDF/090 – SDF/105)

      Although South Devon’s SDF grant allocation for 2007-08 has not yet been confirmed, working on the probability
      that the allocation is approximately £80,000 a balance of £15,563.80 (i.e. £80,000 less £64,436.20) minus AONB
      admin costs may yet require allocation. If a lesser allocation is received from Natural England the balance yet to
      be allocated will also obviously be reduced.

                                                           26
                                                                                                  th
     South Devon AONB Partnership Committee Meeting                                             16 March 2007

     It was AGREED that the fund should not re-open for applications until the level of SDF grant has been confirmed
     by Natural England.

6.   DATE OF NEXT MEETING

      (a)     It was agreed that provided confirmation of the level of grant has been received and there was
                                                                                                           th
              sufficient business to attend to the next SDF Grants Advisory Panel meeting will be held on 8 May
              2007 at Harbour House in Kingsbridge at 2pm (subject to room availability).




                                                         27

								
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