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.

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Mullacott Cross Wind Turbine

(2010)

Fiona undertook the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment for this single wind turbine for the private developer Renergy. It is located on an industrial estate in North Devon and has subsequently been given planning permission.

The LVIA was part of the Environmental Report which accompanied the planning application. It assessed the potential impacts of the proposed turbine on the surrounding landscape, on views from viewpoints (including some within the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and on views from nearby residential properties

Landscape Sensitivity Study for land to the South of Exmoor National Park

(2009)

This project examined the sensitivity of the landscape within the setting of Exmoor National Park with regard to large scale wind turbine development. It is a particularly rich historic landscape, containing relict areas of unenclosed common land, historic field systems, and numerous ancient features and settlements. Fiona used the study as part of her evidence as a Landscape witness at Public Inquiry, objecting to proposed windfarm developments in this area. Following the Public Inquiry, the Inspector rejected the appeal on the grounds of the impact on the setting of Exmoor National Park.

Northampton Landscape Sensitivity and Green Infrastructure (LSGI) Study

With Robin Lines Landscape (2009)

Published Report Supplimentary Figure 1 Supplimentary Figure 2

Extract from Northampton LSGI Study, showing Biodiversity Networks and Green Infrastructure Networks overlaid on Landscape and Visual Sensitivity.
Extract from Northampton LSGI Study, showing Biodiversity Networks and Green Infrastructure Networks overlaid on Landscape and Visual Sensitivity.

This groundbreaking and large-scale project for the River Nene Regional Park CIC brought together studies of the landscape, visual, ecological and cultural sensitivities of the land surrounding Northampton. Recommendations were made on the most appropriate locations for the future expansion of the town, based on the findings of the sensitivity studies.

Extract from the Northampton LSGI Study, showing the recommended Green Infrastructure Strategy.
Extract from the Northampton LSGI Study, showing the recommended Green Infrastructure Strategy.

In addition, recommendations were made on the ways in which existing landscape and biodiversity features – and new links – could be utilised to improve the existing and future Green Infrastructure of the town, providing open spaces and suitable access through a network of greenways.