Planning & the National Landscape

On 22 November 2023 all designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales became 'National Landscapes'. As such, the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been renamed the Shropshire Hills National Landscape. Its legal designation and policy status remain the same.

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a national designation recognised in the planning system.  In government policy Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are deemed to have the same level of landscape quality and protection as National Parks.

The planning system has an important role in preventing inappropriate development from harming the special qualities of the Shropshire Hills, while also having a role in facilitating appropriate and sustainable forms of development. 

The responsibility for planning policy and decisions within the Shropshire Hills National Landscape rests with our two unitary authorities; Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council.  They have a legal duty under S85 Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to have regard to the purposes of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in carrying out planning and other functions.

In addition, the statutory Management Plan, though not part of the Local Development Framework, contains policies on many issues and is a material consideration in planning decisions.

Our National Landscape Partnership works to a Planning Protocol agreed with the local authorities, outlining the roles of the planning authorities and the Partnership in relation to planning matters in the Shropshire Hills National Landscape. 

For general information about all aspects of planning, click below

Government’s Planning Portal website