Seascape Character Assessment

White Consultants have the longest track record in seascape character assessment in the UK (17 years) and lead on the development of the methodology for local seascape character assessments. We also advise local planning authorities, designated landscape bodies and the UK government on the likely impacts of marine development, such as renewable energy.

We have recently completed the Carmarthen Bay, Gower and Swansea Bay seascape character assessment. During this study we used an innovative web consultation model (click here) which ran alongside four stakeholder workshops.


We were involved in the development of the first method for assessing seascapes published in 2001 as part of a wider cooperative Welsh and Irish Seascapes Interreg project.

We subsequently developed the method to produce the award-winning Wales Seascape Assessment in 2008 for the Countryside Council for Wales. This combined extensive desk study and advanced GIS techniques on intervisibility (which have now been adopted in England and Wales by others as a 'visual resource assessment').

Following on from these projects we were appointed by DECC to assess potential seascape buffers for the Strategic Enviromental Assessment of the UK Round 3 offshore windfarms. This has recently been updated.

We completed the first local seascape assessment in Wales (possibly the UK) for Pembrokeshire National Park Authority and this has become Supplementary Planning Guidance, informing the special qualities of the area.

Our local seascape method leads the UK building on and improving the current UK-wide seascape method ensuring that the definition of seascape character areas is robust, based on real physical differences, and the relationship between the coast and sea is fully explored and described.


We reviewed and advised on the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon energy project for the City Council to ensure that the design and assessment was to best practice and minimised effects on the seascape.

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