To consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste to formally adopt the reviewed and revised High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2019-24.
Stephanie Holt Castle (Interim Director of Environment, Planning and Enforcement) and Elizabeth Milne (Natural environment and Coast Manager) was in attendance for this item.
1. Mr M Payne left the meeting and took no part in the discussion of the item.
2. The Chairman introduced the report that provided an overview of the revised High Weald Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) Management plan 2019-24 in order to seek endorsement for its adoption by Kent County Council.
3. Ms Milne said that the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 required local authorities within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to act jointly to prepare and publish an up-to-date plan every five years which would formulate their policy for the management of the area and for the carrying out of those functions in relation to it. The revised Management Plan took account of the potential impact of Brexit on agri-envrionmental policy, the significant increase in development pressures in the AONB and the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan that was published during the review process. Ms Milne confirmed that, at the time of the Committee, all local authorities, apart from Sevenoaks and Kent County Council had adopted the plan. The High Weald AONB Unit managed the consultation process which included a series of technical workshops. Kent County Council had reviewed and responded to the formal consultation and officers were satisfied that the comments had been addressed. It was anticipated that the new Management plan would not place any additional obligations on the Council in terms of resources, however, services would be expected to consider the plan in relation to their operations and would need to familiarise themselves with it.
4. RESOLVED that the proposed decision (19/00013) to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste to formally adopt the reviewed and revised High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2019-2024, be endorsed.