Wealden District Council

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High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Over 53% of Wealden District falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - a landscape of national importance which was designated as an AONB in 1983. In this section find more information and a link to the current High Weald Management Plan.

High Weald AONB Management Plan 2019-2024

The High Weald Management Plan 2019 -2024 has been prepared by the High Weald AONB Partnership, and was adopted by the District Council on 21 March 2019. 

The Management Plan sets out long term objectives for conserving this nationally important landscape and the local authorities' ambitions for how the High Weald will be looked after for the next 5 years. It is a material consideration in relation to planning policy and the determination of planning applications within those parts of the District it covers. It identifies the components of the character of the High Weald that provide the basis for its national landscape value, sets out a vision for the Area and, crucially, some of the activities that a range of bodies and local people could take to achieve that vision.

View the High Weald Management Plan 4th edition 2019-2024 (pdf)


The AONB Management Plan 2019-2024 is supported by a number of documents, all of which can be found on the High Weald AONB website (external link).

Draft High Weald AONB Design Guide – Building for the High Weald

The High Weald AONB Partnership, which includes Wealden District Council, has drafted a Design Guide for new housing development in the High Weald. The Design Guide was the subject of an eight-week period of formal public consultation from 19 June to 14 August 2019.  This consultation has now closed and the High Weald AONB Unit are considering the comments received and making any necessary final amendments to the Design Guide.  

Once finalised, the design guide will seek to provide guidance to designers, developers, planning policy makers and planning decision makers to meet the requirements of the NPPF with regards to achieving well designed places and the conservation and enhancement of the AONB.