AONB Boundary consultation – MABRAKE leaflet

Some of you will have received a leaflet asking you to respond to a Tamar Valley AONB consultation document concerning possible changes to the current AONB boundaries.

We have been asked to make clear that this leaflet is from MABRAKE and not from TVAONB itself.

As you are aware MABRAKE are campaigning to have the boundary extended and you see details of that in previous posts.

We and TVAONB would still like you to respond to their consultation document which can be found at:

The closing date for responses is 16th November 2018



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AONB extension – we need your help

As we outlined in our post of April 2018 Mabrake have proposed an extension to the Tamar Valley AONB to give our area more protection against inappropriate development. This extension would apply to the area between Lifton, Lydford and Lamerton and would join TVAONB to the Dartmoor National Park.

Tamar Valley AONB have now published a consultation document asking for views on possible extensions to the existing boundaries.

This document is published at

To provide your input please go the section Protected Landscapes review process and say you support the Mabrake proposal. More details on our proposal can be found in our post of April 2018. The consultation ends on the 16th November 2018. But please do not hesitate we need your support now.

Thank you

Gary Vanstone    Chairman






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MABRAKE makes AONB proposal to protect our local landscape

As many of you are aware, MABRAKE campaigns for the protection of our lovely West Devon landscape. We fight against inappropriate developments like wind turbines, large solar panel arrays, over development, and tree protection amongst other things.

Some time ago, we became aware that the AGLV designation (Area of Great Landscape Value) for the Lyd and Lew valleys had been abandoned in 2009, leaving the triangle between the TVAONB, (World Heritage Site), Dartmoor National Park and the A30 to the north, with no landscape designation protection.

MABRAKE has campaigned to address this by requesting an “AONB Boundary Variation Order, under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.”

Our survey of some 14 local parishes affected received some 75% support, and in a recent public questionnaire by Milton Abbot Grouped Parish Council the AONB proposal elicited overwhelming public support.

Our local MP Geoffrey Cox QC is also wholeheartedly behind the proposal, and has done some magnificent groundwork with various local authorities, to move the idea forward.

Tamar Valley AONB will soon be publishing their next 5 year Development Plan which we expect to include a public consultation question on our AONB proposal.

Our proposal has also now been submitted to Natural England for consideration, but it will take a significant time for them to review it and to go through the process of consultation and approval.

The basic proposal is that Tamar Valley AONB expands its territory to include the Lifton/Sourton,Tavistock triangle. The exact borders have yet to be determined to the north. The East and West boundaries would join TVAONB and DNP.

We feel that this AONB designation will protect our lovely area from inappropriate development in the future.

Naturally there will be some extra levels of Planning Permission, but the benefits will be significant, especially for farmers who will potentially have a new source of grant aid.

For a more comprehensive explanation of our proposal, please contact us at

Chris Burchell




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Concern over unsuitable barn conversions.

Class ‘Q’ Permitted Development

In 2014 an amendment was quietly made to rural planning rules by the Government to allow old unused barns on farms to be converted to dwellings.

Whilst historically there has always been a steady trickle of conversions of old stone and slate barns and outbuildings made redundant by modern steel and corrugated barns, this new Amendment allows fast track planning permission to convert even ‘modern’ style steel barns “provided it can be demonstrated they were redundant and unused by March 2013”. Each barn may contain up to 3 dwellings.

There is a typical conversion under way near to the entrance to Lydford Forest. WDBC Planning 0129/17/PDM. Have a look, draw your own conclusions.

Applications in West Devon have been running at several per month since 2014, or some 50 per year. Thus, potentially some 600 new dwellings in West Devon alone. This is in addition to the additional housing being placed in every village under the new County Development Plan.

Admittedly not all applications are being granted. There are some stringent Building Control hoops to jump through. However, MABRAKE is concerned that this somewhat random housing development, by its very nature, will cause additional strain to the local infrastructure.

Fortunately, Class ‘Q’ is not permitted in ANOB areas. However, Class PA, (B1C, to C3), another quiet change, does allow conversion of redundant ‘workshops’ and ‘Light Industrial Units’ within AONB’s and National Parks – an additional concern for the same reasons.

Neither process considers the strain on hospitals, surgeries, schools, lanes, roads, water, drainage etc. etc., unlike more regular estate developments in say, Lamerton, or Milton Abbot which must consider these elements.

These changes to the Planning Laws have been quietly slipped in, and we cannot do much except be vigilant, and ensure that conversions are sensitive to all these considerations.

Please let us know if you have spotted such a development, and why you feel it may be inappropriate, or acceptable. Is this a problem in our rural area? What do you think?

Chris Burchell.



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Greystone Quarry – Road Closure

There is an application to extend Greystone Quarry into the Tamar Valley AONB (see previous post in 2016). This application has now been approved by the Cornwall Planning Authority.

The proposed extension will involve the closure of the back road from Greystone Bridge to the Callington/Launceston road. This road closure proposal is a matter of concern to a number of residents on both sides of the Tamar.

The closure of the road has to be approved by the Secretary of State and the application to agree its consent is now with the relevant ministry. if you want to object to the road closure then you need to contact:   quoting     NATTRAN/SW/S247/3043


Objections to the lane closure should be received by the above by midnight 30 November.

Copies of the draft plan and relevant plan are available for inspection at Launceston Town Hall until 30 November.

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