The South Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty

Covering 337 square kilometres (130 square miles) of coastline, estuaries and countryside, South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) stretches from Berry Head in Brixham to Jennycliff in Plymouth. As well as being a place of fabulous views and fantastic countryside it is home to 34,000 people. The shaded area in the map below shows the South Devon AONB designated area.



South Devon AONB is one of a family of protected landscapes in the UK. With the guidance of a Partnership Committee, the AONB Team work to enhance South Devon’s outstanding beauty, for which the designation was applied.

As a Protected Landscape the South Hams  is  deemed, by law, to have ten special qualities which make it unique and worthy of extra protection. These are:  a wild and rugged coastline; a network of streams, rivers and estuaries; rolling farmland; open tops and hidden valleys; long unspoiled views; a long lived-in landscape;  rich in wildlife; naturally tranquil; with an ancient  network of routes and quality views beyond the AONB boundary.

Plan/P2 Decision-taking Development management decisions will give great weight to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the South Devon AONB; and support development that is appropriate and proportionate to its setting within or adjacent to the South Devon AONB.

Plan/P3 Planning protocol Local – Planning Authorities will consult the South Devon AONB Unit on planning policy and significant planning applications following the agreed planning protocol, and use the South Devon AONB Management Plan as a material consideration to inform plan-making and decision-taking.

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 AONB Planning Guidance

 The AONB Management Plan

 Estuaries Management Plans

Following public consultation an Estuaries Management Plan covering 2016 – 2024 for the five estuaries in the South Devon AONB has been finalised. A text only version is available to download from this page. The Plan brings together the previous individual management plans of the Yealm, Erme, Avon, Salcombe-Kingsbridge and Dart estuaries within one plan. The Estuaries Management Plan also now ties in more strongly with the South Devon AONB Management Plan.

Treasure your local estuary!

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