Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Chilterns

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 23 July 2021.

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Photo of Joy Morrissey Joy Morrissey Conservative, Beaconsfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of potential merits of expanding the Chilterns Area of National Beauty to include the areas of Colne Valley Regional Park and Burnham Beeches.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Natural England, the statutory advisor to the Government on landscape, announced in June 2021 an ambitious Landscape Designations Programme. This programme includes consideration of an extension of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The proposal submitted to Natural England for consideration to extend the Chilterns AONB includes Burnham Beeches. Before any technical designation assessments are carried out,an evidence-based area of search will be agreed with partners. The purpose of agreeing an area of search is to ensure areas that are considered likely to meet the designation criteria are included in the assessments. Inclusion of the Colne Valley would be considered at the time of determining the area of search.

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