Review of South Ayrshire Local Landscape Areas

For South Ayrshire Council as subconsult to Carol Anderson Landscape Associates (2018)

Scottish Planning Policy recognises the value of locally-designated landscape areas, in order to: Safeguard and enhance their character and quality which is important or particularly valued locally or regionally; promote understanding and awareness of their distinctive character and special qualities; safeguard and promote important local settings for recreation and tourism, and afford them appropriate levels of protection in Local Plans.

Fiona Fyfe assisted Carol Anderson with the review of Local Landscape Areas for South Ayrshire, providing specialist expertise in community and stakeholder consultation, and in cultural/ historic landscapes. The study area contains numerous historic estates, including Culzean and Glen App, as well as the historic Turnberry golf resort, weaving villages, harbours, and sites associated with poet Robert Burns.

Wandle Vistas Project

For Living Wandle Landscape Partnership with Untitled Practice (2018)

This is a legacy project for the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership in south-west London. The project has an urban context, as the River Wandle rises near Croydon and meets the Thames at Wandsworth. This project used extensive community consultation to define what makes a ‘Wandle Vista’ and to identify ten key viewpoints which together tell the landscape story of the Wandle Valley. The project is closely aligned with the London Plan, London View Management Framework and All London Green Grid.

Working with volunteers is a key part of the project, and Fiona delivered training on landscape assessment techniques, historic map analysis and digital archive resources. Project outputs include a planning document for London Boroughs to take forward into their own Local and Neighbourhood Plans, and interpretation materials to inspire local people to understand and engage with the Wandle Valley landscape. Also included are a range of measures to enhance and raise awareness of the viewpoints which will contribute to the Living Wandle Legacy.

The Aberdeen Landscape Study

With Douglas Harman Landscape Planning, Carol Anderson Landscape Associates, Buchan Landscape Architecture and Countryscape (Ongoing)

Fiona is providing specialist input on landscape archaeology and cultural heritage to the team led by Douglas Harman Landscape Planning. Her research focusses on both designated and non-designated sites and landscapes within the study area, and enables them to be recognised when planning for the future. The Aberdeen Landscape Study comprises a suite of complementary documents, including a Coastal Character Assessment; revised and updated Landscape Character Assessment; Peri-urban Study, and Landscape Sensitivity Study.

Blackdown Hills Landscape Enhancement Initiative

For Blackdown Hills AONB (2017)

This project was commissioned through the National Grid Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI) scheme, open to protected landscapes which are affected by high voltage power lines. It identified a number of landscape enhancement opportunities within the Blackdown Hills AONB which fulfil the LEI criteria, including strengthening historic landscape patterns of hedgerows; enhancing the settings of settlements and listed buildings; opportunities for habitat creation and enhancement, and improvements to public access.

Northampton Green Infrastructure Plan

With Countryscape and the University of Northampton (2016)

This document provides a framework for the practical implementation of Green Infrastructure through the planning process. It is intended for use by planners, developers, project managers, community groups and other organisations. It puts strategic thinking on Green Infrastructure into practise at the local level, and enables the Local Authority to act on their obligations with regard to creation and enhancement of GI as set out in European, National and Local planning policy.

The Green Infrastructure Plan divides Northampton’s Local Level Green Infrastructure Network into a series of Components. These Components are either based on geographical location or on the type of Green Infrastructure which they represent. By splitting the Local Level Green Infrastructure Network into its components, it is possible to understand how the Network functions at a local level, and what needs to be done to enhance it. A series of profiles put each of the Components into their Green Infrastructure context, and describe their existing and potential functions in terms of biodiversity, connectivity and access, community and public health, landscape, heritage, flooding and water management and ecosystem services. The Green Infrastructure Plan is also integrated with the Northampton Interactive Map.

Medway Green Infrastructure Planning Project

With Countryscape (2015)

This project was commissioned by Medway Council, and is a technical study to inform the forthcoming Medway Local Plan. It provides a strategic vision for Medway’s Green Infrastructure, and will also inform the choice of sites allocated for development. It will be taken forward by Medway Council to discuss local issues and opportunities to address in the emerging Local Plan. The report introduces the concept of Green Infrastructure, and the range of Green Infrastructure assets present within Medway. It identifies issues and opportunities to be addressed through Green Infrastructure, covering the themes of landscape, biodiversity assets, open spaces, movement networks, and social and public health issues. A strategic vision for Medway’s Green Infrastructure is presented, along with potential delivery mechanisms to achieve it. More detail on Green Infrastructure assets and opportunities is provided for five focus areas which are experiencing particularly acute development pressure.

Telford and Wrekin Strategic Landscapes Study

With Douglas Harman Landscape Planning and Countryscape (2015)

This project forms part of the evidence base for the forthcoming Telford & Wrekin Local Plan. It identifies three landscapes which are of distinctive character and special quality, and provides information about their key characteristics and sensitivities. Planning and management principles are provided to help ensure that these special qualities are retained and enhanced in the future. The Strategic Landscape Areas will be a useful tool for Telford & Wrekin Council in their ongoing work to protect and enhance these particularly special and valued landscapes.

Devon Advice Note on using Landscape Character Assessment in Neighbourhood Plans

For Devon County Council (2015)

This document is aimed at members of the public who do not currently have technical knowledge of the landscape assessment process, but wish to use existing Landscape Character Assessments in the production of Neighbourhood Plans. It introduces the concept of landscape character assessment, and demonstrates how local communities can use Landscape Character Assessments to enhance their local environment, and to positively shape the places where they live.

The Advice Note has been adapted for use by Cranborne Chase AONB, and also by the CPRE in their nationally-applicable publication What’s Special to you: Landscape Issues in your Neighbourhood Plans, July 2017. The Devon Advice Note was Commended in the SW RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2017.


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Medway Valley Strategic Landscape Enhancement Plan

With Robin Lines Landscape (2015)

Published Report

The study area for this project is the Valley of the river Medway through Maidstone, and continuing for approximately 10km to the south-west. The project was commissioned by Kent County Council and uses landscape as a common thread to tie together cross-disciplinary aspirations and aims. It knits together wide-ranging disparate documents (for example Green Infrastructure Strategies, Biodiversity Action Plans, Local Planning Policies, Landscape Character Assessments, etc.) and presents clear and practical measures for putting their aspirations into practice. The report contains a short history of the Medway Valley, a summary of the available evidence base, and a series of practical opportunities for enhancement divided into five key themes: Biodiversity; the historic environment; farming and land management; recreation and access, and recent and future development. The report was informed by consultation with local people and professionals working in the area. It is a well-illustrated and easy to read document, aimed at developers, land managers, parish councils responding to planning applications, and other organisations working in the Medway Valley such as the Environment Agency.

Strategic Landscape Enhancement Plan for the Darent Valley, Kent

With Sological Solutions and Robin Lines Landscape (2014)

The Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme (LPS) area follows the river Darent from its source springs in the Weald to its confluence with the river Thames near Dartford. This project required the production of a single Landscape Character Assessment for the LPS area, and the identification of a series of Landscape Character Areas which reflect the changing stages of the river and its surroundings. The Plan contains a vision for each Landscape Character Area, and a series of practical project proposals and opportunities to make that vision a reality. The Plan was part of a successful First Round bid for Heritage Lottery Funding under the Landscape Partnership Scheme.