Decision details

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB): Future Funding and Solway AONB Management Plan Review

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek Cabinet approval to enter into a 3 year funding agreement for the AONB Partnerships (Solway, Arnside & Silverdale and North Pennines).
Therte are three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Cumbria. These are nationally protected landscapes of special importance. The Council has a number of statutory duties in regard to these AONB. The AONB partnerships are part funded jointly by the Council and other relevant Local Authorities. The Council is currently signed up to a Memorandum of Understanding with the AONB, agreeing to a given level of funding over a three year period. This is due to expire in April 2015.
The report will also present the revised Solway AONB Management Plan, and recommend adoption.


The Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services presented a report on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which were statutory land use designations made under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.  Three AONB lie within Cumbria – Arnside & Silverdale, North Pennines and the Solway Coast and the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 placed statutory duties on the Council in regard to AONB.  The report dealt with two specific issues relating to these duties: future funding of all three AONB, and the adoption of the Solway Coast AONB Management Plan.

The three AONBs were managed via AONB Partnerships, of which the County Council was a member. The County Council was being asked to enter into a new three year funding agreement with all three of the AONB Partnerships, and other relevant local authorities. The Council had been signatory to previous agreements since 2009. This approach provided greater financial stability to the Partnerships and enabled more effective delivery of AONB Management Plan objectives and actions. The current agreement expired in April 2015.

The Council, along with other relevant local authorities had a statutory duty as set out in Section 89 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000to prepare and review Management Plans for each of the three AONB located within Cumbria.  Revised Management Plans for the Arnside & Silverdale and North Pennines AONB were adopted by the County Council in 2014. The Management Plan for the Solway Coast AONB had now also been reviewed to guide the management of the protected landscape for the period 2015-20. The Council needed to adopt this Management Plan to continue to meet its statutory duties.




(1)   £34,604 per annum be commited to the AONB Partnerships for a three year period

(2)   a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) in the form attached at Appendix 4 for each of the AONB Partnerships be entered into;

(3)   authority be delegated to the Corporate Director, Environment & Community Services to agree the final version of each MoA in consultation with the Portfolio Holder;

(4)   the Solway Coast AONB Management Plan be agreed and adopted by the Council, with authority delegated to the Corporate Director, Environment & Community Services to agree the final content.



Report author: Richard Pearse

Publication date: 10/02/2015

Date of decision: 05/02/2015

Decided at meeting: 05/02/2015 - Cabinet

Effective from: 18/02/2015

Accompanying Documents: