The environment is the economic life-blood of Scilly. Therefore, it is critical that all development conserves and enhances the Islands’ natural beauty and safeguards their aesthetic value and tranquility.
The Isles of Scilly Local Plan, A 2020 Vision recognises the limits placed on development by shortage of available land, landscape designations and the close relationship between the quality of the Islands’ environment and tourism, the main economic activity in Scilly.
The only new build residential properties allowed under the Local Plan are for ‘local needs’. However, several major community and infrastructural development projects are being brought forward:
- Proposed refurbishment of St Mary’s harbour
- New school build at Carn Gwaval on St Mary’s (under construction during 2010 and 2011)
- Porthcressa Regeneration Masterplan
- Regeneration of Porthmellon area
- Affordable housing schemes on St Mary’s and the off-islands.
While all of the above projects deliver significant social, educational and economic benefits to the Islands, their potential impact on the character of the AONB must be evaluated and monitored.
The AONB Management Plan is a significant material consideration in the planning process. It helps the local planning authority in fulfilling its statutory duty to have due regard to the AONB designation.
A planning protocol with the local planning authority (Council of the Isles of Scilly) has been agreed whereby responsibility for making representations on planning policy and planning applications is delegated to an AONB Planning Consultative Panel (PCP). PCP typically comments on policy developments and planning applications that could, by virtue of their characteristics (e.g. scale, prominent site, location and design) on their own or in combination with others, have potential impact on the landscape or other special character and features of the AONB designation.
In considering both policy and individual applications, the main concern of PCP is the purpose of AONB designation – the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the landscape. However, in forming a view it also takes into consideration the economic and social needs of the local community. Representations made by the PCP are based on the published objectives and policies in the Isles of Scilly AONB Management Plan 2010-2014 and relevant national and local planning policy.
For more information about planning within the Isles of Scilly, visit the Council of the Isles of Scilly planning pages by clicking on this link.