The villages and buildings of the AONB are vital elements of its character and are one of the special qualities that create the Mendip Hills sense of place and identity. Sensitive planning and design of development is crucial in retaining the character and appearance of the landscape.
Responsibility for determining planning applications and transport matters lies with the local planning and highways authorities. The role of the AONB Unit is to bring expertise and influence to bear in seeking to protect the special qualities of the designated landscape. In particular, acting as the “voice of the protected landscape”, the AONB aims to bring a consistent approach to planning and development issues across the whole AONB area.