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SD7 – THE COTSWOLDS AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY Background 4.7.1 The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is the largest AONB in the country. Its management is co-ordinated through The Cotswolds Conservation Board. The NPPF confers on AONBs protection from major development, making clear that permission should only be granted in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated to be in the public interest. For the purposes of Policy SD7, whether or not a proposal constitutes major development will be considered as set out at Paragraph 4.8.4 below. Detailed policies for the management of development in or affecting the AONB may be set out in relevant District plans. Policy SD7: The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) All development proposals within the setting of the Cotswolds AONB will be required to conserve and, where appropriate, enhance its landscape, scenic beauty, wildlife, cultural heritage and other special qualities. Proposals will be required to be consistent with the policies set out in the Cotswolds AONB Management Plan. This policy contributes towards achieving Objectives 4 and 9. Explanation 4.7.2 4.7.3 The Cotswolds AONB is nationally designated for its landscape importance. Each local authority has a statutory duty under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (Section 85) to ‘have regard to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the AONB’. In fulfilling this duty, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Councils will continue to work in conjunction with the Cotswolds Conservation Board. The Board has prepared the Cotswolds AONB Management Plan 2013-2018 to guide its management. The Management Plan is supported by more detailed guidance on a range of topics including a landscape strategy and associated guidance underpinned by the Cotswolds AONB Landscape Character Assessment. The Management Plan and guidance are material considerations in determining planning applications in or affecting the AONB. Development close to, but outside, the AONB boundary has the potential to have a detrimental impact on its setting through, for example, its impact upon key views, or its impact upon landscape character in and around 4.7.4 4.7.5 the AONB boundary. Proposals likely to affect the setting of the AONB must fully consider any potential impacts. Major development can be defined in quantitative terms – a threshold number of dwellings, for example. However, it follows from appreciation of the JCS area’s varied natural form that consideration of what constitutes ‘major’ development is both a matter of context and a matter of fact and degree: what is deemed to be ‘major’ in one area may not be deemed to be so in another. The sensitivity of The Cotswolds AONB and its setting is a good example. The JCS therefore does not provide a quantitative definition of ‘major development’ here as this would be misleading and inflexible within the context of a policy largely concerned with qualitative issues. Where Policy SD7 is invoked, it will therefore be a matter for the determining authority to advise applicants as to whether or not their proposal constitutes major development. This policy will primarily be delivered through the development management process. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 54

SD8 – HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT Background 4.8.1 The JCS and District plans will together provide a framework of policies for securing the conservation, enhancement, improvement and enjoyment of the historic environment. These policies will be supported where appropriate by local strategies, partnership projects, and urban regeneration initiatives including local transport improvement schemes. 4.8.4 New forms of development can enhance or erode the appearance, character and distinctiveness of our historic environment. A key challenge for the future is therefore to manage change in a way that realises the regeneration potential of the area while protecting and capitalising on its unique heritage. 4.8.2 The historic environment provides a tangible link with our past and is worth preserving for its own sake and for future generations. It forms a central part of our cultural heritage and contributes to our sense of community identity. It also provides the character and distinctiveness that is so important to a positive sense of place. 4.8.3 The JCS area has a rich and diverse historic environment which is evident in the survival of individual historic assets including some 4,888 listed buildings, 35 conservation areas, 88 scheduled ancient monuments, and other sites of historic interest such as battlefields, parks, gardens, landscapes and archaeological sites. These include important historical features such as Gloucester’s Roman remains, Cathedral, canal corridor and docks; the Regency architecture and town planning of Cheltenham; and Tewkesbury’s historic core, waterways, medieval abbey, Wars of the Roses battlefield, market towns and villages with medieval origins, wider rural landscapes and agricultural heritage. The architecture of all three districts has also been influenced by the availability of Cotswold building stone. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 55