The draw of living in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is understandably irresistible to many homeowners throughout Devon and Somerset; gorgeous seascapes, untouched countryside, steep valleys and uninterrupted views are definitely an alluring prospect.

If you’re contemplating moving to an AONB in Devon or Somerset, you may not be aware that AONB’s are designated as conservation areas. This means that the land is protected to conserve and enhance its natural beauty, which restricts your permitted development rights; in essence, planning permission will need to be sought to go ahead with certain types of refurbishment work.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the AONBs in the area.

East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Devon sea

Two-thirds of East Devon is covered by the Pebblebed Heath and Blackdown Hills AONB. Protected since 1963, the East Devon AONB packs so much in it’s quite a feat to comprehend! Including East Devon’s Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, explore wonderful wooden combes, tranquil river valleys, extensive swathes of historic heathland and thrilling hilltop and coastal views.

The East Devon AONB includes East Budleigh, Otterton, Newton Poppleford, Sibury, Salcombe Regis, Branscombe, Southleigh, Rousdon and Uplyme, as well as covering parts of Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Sidford, Colyford, Colyton, Kilmington and Axmouth.

South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Home to 34,000 people, the South Devon AONB protects 130 square miles of dramatic coastline, enigmatic estuaries and charming countryside. Protected since 1960, this diverse habitat is home to a plethora of wildlife – from dolphins and grey seals to greater horseshoe bats and cuckoo bees.

The South Devon AONB includes Wembury, Bantham, Hope Cover, Salcombe, Dartmouth National Park and parts of Brixham and Plymouth.

North Devon Coast AONB

Surfer on waves

The North Devon Coast AONB stretches from Hartland, through Westward Ho!, Croyde and Woolacombe, ending up at Ilfracombe and Combe Martin, which then joins onto the Dunkery & Horner Wood National Nature Reserve and Exmoor National Park. Protected since 1959, these stunning 66 square miles offer the perfect combination of rolling cliffs, rocky coves, wooded valleys and sublime sand dunes.

Quantock Hills AONB

Not far from Blackdown Hills AONB and Exmoor National Park are the beautiful Quantock Hills. Just west of Bridgwater in Somerset, this 38 square mile national character area holds the title of England’s first AONB, protected in 1956. Forming the western border of Sedgemoor and the Somerset Levels, the Quantocks are encompassed by the Vale of Taunton and Quantock Fringes.

The Quantock Hills AONB incorporates Kilve, Crowcombe, West Bagborough, Cothelstone, Broomfield and parts of Enmore and Nether Stowey.

Can you use uPVC windows in a conservation area?

Light oak effect Residence 9 flush sash windows

At Doors & Windows Exeter, we’re often asked this question; especially by homeowners who reside within AONBs across Devon and Somerset. So, for those of you lucky enough to live in any of the areas listed above, you’ll be happy to learn that there are uPVC windows that can be applied to conservation areas.

Introducing Residence 9 Windows

Designed to adhere to the strictest conservation criteria, Residence 9 windows provide the perfect solution for homes that require traditional aesthetics seamlessly combined with modern-day thermal efficiency. Delivering timeless sightlines alongside long-lasting, secure and maintenance-free features, there’s no need to worry about your new windows warping, swelling or flaking either. Complete with a palette of authentic yet diverse colour finishes, Residence 9 windows complement a range of architectural styles like no other.

If you’re planning a high performance, quality refurbishment in Devon or Somerset and you like the sound of our Residence 9 windows, get in touch with a Doors & Windows Exeter expert today.

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