Forest of Dean

Document Sample
Forest of Dean Powered By Docstoc
					               Andrew Blake
          Wye Valley AONB Officer

          What it means to be an
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
     How do you govern an AONB?

• Joint Advisory Committee (JAC)
     Local people, organisations & agencies
• Technical Officers Working Party (TOWP)
     Key officers & agencies
• AONB Topic Groups
     Specialists and specific interests
• AONB Office & staff unit
                            JAC members
Local Authorities (voting) Forest of Dean District Council (2 councillors)
                            Gloucestershire County Council (2 councillors)
                            Herefordshire Council (4 councillors)
                            Monmouthshire County Council (4 councillors)
Co-opted (voting)           Council for the Gloucestershire Countryside
                            Gwent Committee for the Environment
                            CPRE (Herefordshire branch)
                            Country Land & Business Association
                            National Farmers Union
Co-opted (non-voting)       local Wildlife Trusts, currently represented by
                                       Gwent Wildlife Trust
                            Lower Wye Valley Society,
                            River Wye Preservation Trust,
                            Central Council for Physical Recreation
                                       - Outdoor Pursuits Division
                            local tourism interests, currently represented by
                                       Wye Valley Tourism association.
Officers in attendance
                      Role of the JAC
• Only organisation to consider the 128 sq miles of lower Wye Valley as
  a whole

• Form AONB wide view of issues and relay advice to all relevant
  parties, especially local authorities, regional & national government

• Advise partners on level of resources needed for AONB management

• Advise relevant planning authorities about appropriate strategic
  policies and potentially damaging development proposals

• Ensure AONB purposes recognised

• Approve AONB Unit work programme

• Meet every 4 months, serviced by a Technical Officers’ Group
                Topic Groups
•   Countryside Management Co-ordination Group
•   Historic Environment & Heritage Group
•   Landscape Topic Group
•   Nature Conservation Liaison Group
•   Tourism Liaison Group
•   Woodland Management Group
•   Wye Valley Public Transport Group
            Role of Topic Groups
• To broaden the AONB partnership and involve specialist
  interests and experts on specific topics
• To provide specialist advice and support to the JAC and
  AONB Unit
• To co-ordinate and progress partnership initiatives in the
  AONB, particularly actions identified in the AONB
  Management Plan
• To enhance the value of the area’s unique environment and
  the significance of the AONB designation, within
  respective institutions and with the general public
• (to bang heads together across borders)
                The AONB Unit

•   AONB Officer – Andrew Blake
•   AONB Co-ordination Assistant – Barbara Atkins
•   AONB Community Links Officer – Andrew Nixon
•   AONB Information Officer – Mark Bristow
•   AONB Development Officer – Catherine Fookes (P/t)
•   AONB Planning Advisor – t.b.c (P/t)
•   HLF Project Planning Officer – Sue Middleton
          Role of the AONB Unit
• Develop vision and strategy for AONB management
• Prepare AONB management plan and co-ordinate
• Co-ordinate or advise on local authority services in the
  AONB, to go beyond the normal level of service in
  countryside management
• Access resources for project development and providing
  match funding for special projects
• Tap into advice and liaison with AONBs at regional /
  national level
• Develop involvement by the community in management of
  the AONB
• Promote value of the AONB to the public
• Provide planning advice and related activities
                 AONB Funding
• 4 local authorities contribute total of £60,000
• Natural England & Countryside Council for Wales
  contribute 75% grant aid for core activities and up to 50%
  for specific projects.
• In 2005/06 budget for AONB unit was £380,000.
• Funding partners sit on Steering Group

• AONB budget creates leverage with multiplier
• In 2005/06 AONB initiatives and partnership projects drew
  in a further £870,000,
• Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) alone generated
       AONB Management Plan
• Statutory document     • 3 year rolling Action
• Identifies Special       Plan
  Qualities              • Annual Work
• Sets Strategic           Programme
  Objectives and Targets • Review whole plan by
  for 5 years              within 5 years
• Actions Listed
What would an AONB mean for the Cambrian
                      Pros 1
• Recognition of landscape as outstanding with
  national protection
• International recognition as IUCN Category V
  Protected Landscape
• Lobby through National Association of AONBs
• Specific Development Control policies based on
• All public bodies have a duty to have regard for
  AONB purposes (Section 85, CRoW Act 2000)
                     Pros 2
• Robust funding arrangements, eg.
   – Dedicated AONB unit & core budget,
   – Sustainable Development Fund,
   – target for other funds: HLF etc.
• Focused management of the protected landscape
  with statutory AONB Management Plan
• Effective partnership - JAC (or similar) - to
  oversee co-ordinated management and advise
  partners and public bodies
                       Cons 1
• Lack of awareness or enforcement of the AONB
  statutory purposes across departments within local,
  Assembly & national government
• Perception that the AONB unit is an authority with
  powers/jurisdiction over most activities in the area.
• The dependence on annual funding contributions
• Uncertainty of security of long-term support from
  public funds
                   Cons 2

   AONB boundaries can disenfranchise local
 Public perception that AONB inflates house
 Perception that planning and development can
 be ‘stopped’ in an AONB
    What would it mean for the local Councils?
• Requirement of AONB Management Plan
• Financial commitment to AONB budgets (£10-20k ?)
• Host authority for the AONB staff & JAC ?

•    Dedicated team for delivering projects, bids etc.
•    Focus for external funding & bids
•    Good leverage for resources (400 – 1,000 % +)
•    Enhanced status locally, regionally & nationally
            To take away!
AONBs = Added Value
        Outstanding landscape
        Networks & partnership working
        Best practice piloting
        shared responsibility

Shared By: