View of the harbour

North York Moors Settlement Sensitivity Studies

For North York Moors National Park Authority, 2021

This project was undertaken in conjunction with the North York Moors Landscape Character Assessment Update. Its purpose was to identify the key sensitivities associated with each of the 16 ‘Larger Villages’ within the National Park, plus the town of Helmsley. It is in these places where small-scale development (such as affordable housing schemes) is most likely to be located.

A settlement’s character and ‘sense of place’ can be eroded by development which does not respect its form, landscape setting, distinctive features or views. Therefore by identifying and protecting the sensitive features of each settlement, future development can be incorporated in a way which does not damage the settlement’s unique character or sense of place, and will also be sensitive to the landscape in which the settlement is situated.

The settlements studied include towns and villages with coastal, farmland, moorland, historic parkland and woodland settings. Desk studies and fieldwork were undertaken to understand settlements’ landscape context, form, character, approaches and gateways, edges, and visual relationship with their surrounding landscape.