Q&As

In an area of outstanding natural beauty, is planning permission required to plant a row of trees or construct a bund?

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Published on LexisPSL on 16/02/2017

The following Planning Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In an area of outstanding natural beauty, is planning permission required to plant a row of trees or construct a bund?

Generally, planning permission is not required to plant trees, as planting trees would not constitute ‘development’ for the purposes of sections 55 and 57 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990).

Whether a bund constitutes operational development for the purposes of the TCPA 1990, s 55 is a matter of fact and degree. Operational development includes building operations, engineering operations, mining operations and other operations. Whether an activity amounts to a building operation depends on the size, permanence and degree of physical attachment.

For more information on when planning permission is required for operational development, see Practice Note: Operational development.

However, the normal rules on when planning permission is required are more stringent in Areas of Natural Beauty (AONBs), as AONBs benefit from special protections under statute and policy.

Section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 imposes a general duty on all relevant authorities to ‘have regard to the purpose of conserving or enhancing the natural beauty’ of AONBs when making decisions or carrying out activities rela

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