Landscape and planning

We work with developers, designers, land and property owners to:

Maintain the quality and distinctiveness of the AONB’s landscape character.
Enhance the setting of the Chase within its wider urban and rural landscape.

The landscape of Cannock Chase is diverse and varied and includes the inspiring views and open prospect to and from parts of the high heathland plateau; the secluded and ‘secret’ valleys and tracks in the forested areas; and the patterns of small fields, farmsteads and parkland along its northern and eastern edges. 

Economic development around the Chase including farming and forestry should improve the lives of local people and provide additional resources for conserving and enhancing the Chase.  Nevertheless, it is important that development that comes close to the AONB boundary does not harm or intrude on the special qualities and characteristic features of the Chase’s landscapes and its setting.

Revised national planning guidance strengthens the protection for AONB’s against development, stating that the scale and extent of development should be limited in protected areas.  It is also important that the contrasts between the Chase’s natural beauty and the busy towns and countryside around it are not seen as creating a sharp boundary or barrier, but rather as complementary to each other. 

Building Design Guide

During 2019 we are preparing guidance on “Building and Infrastructure Design” in the AONB, which Local Planning authorities will be invited to adopt in 2020.

Improving the view

During 2020 the AONB Unit will be producing guidance on the significant viewpoints and views, including historic views, into and out of the AONB, so that these can continue to be enjoyed for future generations.

Undergrounding powerlines

The views around Marquis Drive Visitor Centre and at Shugborough Park are about to get better.

Approximately 3.5 kilometres of overhead electricity lines from White House to Moors Gorse are to be removed and placed underground in 2019. This will involve removing 48 wooden poles as well as three pole-mounted transformer rebuilds, which will improve supplies in the area.

This is part of an ongoing £2.3 million initiative by Western Power Distribution (WPD) to enhance protected landscapes. A second phase of works will improve views around Shugborough Hall in 2020.


The Trent-Sow Parklands and Cannock Chase AONB HS2 Group is working together to develop and influence design principles, mitigation measures and environmental enhancement for the HS2 route that will minimise impacts on, and conserve and enhance, the special qualities of the AONB.