Fortunately me and some of my neighbours like to receive Yorkshire TV from Emley Moor 70 miles away rather than the nearer Tyne Tees / BBC North East from Bilsdale 20 miles away. This means a good number of my neighbours have 5m+ poles on their gable ends with high gain aerials and masthead preamps, including me. This assisting the planning officer in the acceptance of my two planning proposals and she ending up saying to me that they were only interested in the free standing Tennamast and not the TV and DAB aerials and long poles, the three wire aerials and the three poles in the tree in my garden.
Several neighbours pleaded in letters to the council that I shouldn’t have the poles in the tree and the wires in the garden. Their pleas were ignored and were never taken into account in the final anyalysis, before permission was granted for the 12m Tennamast and then later, the two aerials fixed to it. The RSGB Planning Committee Chairman was a great help in giving me useful advice. You have to be a member to take advantage of the service of course.
I imagine if you draw a line or get a map of the AONB boundary you could catalogue 100s of breaches of the AONB planning guidance - its probably not law in fact, just guidance. You really need to test them out in my opinion and so long as it is not incurring high expense if you were forced to remove the aerials, then you could put them up and see what happens. Then after a prolonged period of time, if pressured, you may have to decide whether to give in and remove them, make them less obvious or apply for retrospective planning permission to avoid an enforcement notice being issued. To get to that stage usually takes eons, but in the meantime you have to live through the stress and pressure of it all, as will your XYL. Having been through it, it isnt pleasant, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, but when you win the day in the end, it could be considered worthwhile. It depends what you want out of the hobby I guess. Just to have a station you can enjoy for SOTA Chasing it probably isn’t necessary, but if want to chase DX and winkle out the rare stations on HF and VHF and SOTA Chase with a greater degree of success, I’m afraid higher gain aerials well above ground are essential tools in your armoury whether you have chronic QRM/QRN or not. Better antennas will improve the reception of short wave signals at the expense of the interference in most cases, even if the interference persists throughout the upgrade of your station.