The Service's in-house expertise is primarily engaged in tasks related to planning applications and formulating planning policy. The ability to provide a general advice service is therefore limited.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are areas of landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty is such that they should be recognised nationally.

These areas have special protection under the legislation of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949, and AONBs represent a significant proportion of the finest countryside in England and Wales.

There are 41 AONBs in England and Wales, four of which fall in Hampshire. The link below is to the external website for the North Wessex Downs, AONB part of which is in Test Valley.

North Wessex Downs AONB


There are over 4,000 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in England, 65 alone in Test Valley, covering around 7% of the country's land area. Over half of these sites, by area, are internationally important for their wildlife, and designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) or Ramsar sites. Many SSSIs are also National Nature Reserves (NNRs) or Local Nature Reserves (LNRs).

Biodiversity Action Plan - Biodiversity Action Plan (hereafter referred to as the BAP) for the Borough of Test Valley. It is a working document that provides a framework for the maintenance and enhancement of the biodiversity of the Borough and has been prepared in accordance with planning regulations.

It has been published by Test Valley Borough Council and was written in conjunction with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The BAP also has the support of the Environment Group representing the Borough’s Local Strategic Partnership, a group of stakeholders with a special remit for developing environmental activities as part of the Borough’s Community Strategy.

New Forest National Park

Test Valley includes only a small part of the National Park (Plaiford Common, West Wellow Common and Canada Common) within the parishes of Wellow and Melchet Park and Plaitford. Part of the valley of the River Blackwater performs a back up grazing function.

New Forest National Park Authority has responsibility for all planning policy and development control matters in the National Park. A separate Local Development Framework (LDF) will be prepared for the National Park. The Borough Local Plan 2006 will continue to apply to the part of the National Park within Test Valley until such time as it is superseded by the LDF for the New Forest National Park.

For more information please contact the New Forest National Park Authority