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Protected Areas Overview

This section on protected areas only explains protection that is given through the planning system, either through national legislation or by your local planning authority. It does not deal with protection that might exist for example through legal covenants imposed by previous landowners.

The planning system provides special protection to certain designated areas.  For example:

  • national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty - to protect nationally important landscapes;
  • Green Belts - to manage the growth of towns and villages into the open countryside;
  • areas important for nature conservation, such as special area of conservation, special protection area, Ramsar wetland and sites of special scientific interest;
  • to conserve and enhance the historic environment, such as world heritage sites, listed buildings, scheduled monuments and conservation areas.
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