Press 01.05.2024

Cheshire Sandstone Ridge proceeds to next stage

A significant project milestone has now been reached in the designation process toward potential Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge.

The Natural England Programme Board has approved the project to proceed to the next stage (subject to some internal clarification).

In the meantime, the Natural England team is reviewing the Natural Beauty Evaluation Report, which was produced by Gillespies’ landscape planning team in Manchester.

Now that Natural England has identified an area of natural beauty with significance at the national level, we can look forward to the Desirability Assessment stage of the project whereby it will be determined whether a designation of a new National Landscape (AONB) is the best course of action for this landscape.

This will be the point in the project where Natural England will be going out to stakeholders for informal engagement and evidence gathering.

When Natural England has completed the Desirability Assessment there will be another pause to take the findings to the Natural England Programme Board, and if the project is approved for progression again at that point, Natural England will move to a detailed boundary setting stage.

Once this is complete, a full public and statutory consultation will take place and it will be at this point that Natural England will share information including maps and technical documents with the public.