Chichester Harbour Conservancy has warned that the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is under threat from the Government’s proposed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The Government’s intention is to move away from the current plan-led system to one that gives priority to economic growth. The Conservancy are concerned that this will allow development to go ahead without due regard to its quality or location. At present, the Conservancy are consulted on all planning applications within and near to the AONB and are able to comment and advise so that developments have a minimal impact on the protected landscape.

Siun Cranny, the Director said, ‘These new plans could fundamentally affect both the AONB and the wider landscape.’ As one of the smallest AONBs, Chichester Harbour is particularly vulnerable as it lies so near to the main towns of Chichester and Havant. Development within or close to its boundaries would threaten the landscape quality and the quality of life for the local communities. ‘

Siun adds, ‘We urge everyone to be aware of the Government’s proposals. On our website you will find our position statement with five key areas that we wish the Government to consider when developing the proposed NPPF. We are not against new developments but want to ensure that the right developments happen in the right places to the benefit of our communities now and in the future.’