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Autumn 2017

It has been a busy Autumn and we have completed two major projects- the Carmarthen Bay, Gower and Swansea Bay seascape character assessment and the LANDMAP visual and sensory assessment for Cardiff and Swansea urban areas.


The seascape character assessment is the second local assessment that we have completed in Wales (after Pembrokeshire) and is at the forefront for this scale of assessment in the UK. It has involved the input of a very wide range of bodies as well as going out to consultation via the web.


The Cardiff and Swansea LANDMAP visual and sensory aspect was completed for Natural Resources Wales. This fills the last remaining but important gap in the national dataset and we have updated the national statistics to take this into account.


In England, Simon is now part of a Design Review Panel for the Gaydon Lightorne Heath (GLH) new settlement in Warwickshire. This is pleasing as we identified this major site as part of a landscape sensitivity study in 2012 and then reviewed and guided the two major landscape and visual impact assessments on behalf of Stratford-on-Avon District Council (SADC).


SADC have also appointed us to advise on the landscape and visual effects of the Southern bypass to Stratford-upon-Avon and the related Long Marston Garden Village. Along with GLH these form major planks in delivering housing in the district.


Our landscape and urban design public inquiry work continues but this time with new clients, Aylesbury Vale District Council. We are landscape expert witness for two inquiries:


- Weston Turville- housing in a gap between settlements with coalescence and cumulative impact issues as well as the effect on a settlement with a Conservation Area and landscape character.


- Maids Moreton- effects on rising land in a valued landscape with effects on public rights of way and a Conservation Area.


Other current and recent work includes:


- Review of proposals and LVIA for a new caravan park in the Brecon Beacons National Park.


- Stroud District landscape sensitivity study- evaluation of 200 land parcels around thirty settlements to inform the Local Plan Review


- Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment of a livestock market in Oxfordshire with photomontages.


Simon White contributed to the Landmarks publication produced by the Design Commission for Wales in 2015. This explored how the relationship between the natural resources of the Welsh landscape and human intervention, with the aim of informing and inspiring a future for design in the rural landscape.

Simon's contribution (on page 82) explored the energy-scapes of Wales on land and sea. This included consideration of what lessons could be learned from the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon design and process.

Current projects include:

Public inquiries- Cotswold, Aylesbury Vale and Stratford-on-Avon districts

We have been undertaking a number of public inquiries with Simon White as landscape expert witness for Cotswold, Aylesbury Vale and Stratford-on Avon District Councils. The sites have included Cirencester, Weston Turville, Buckingham, Tysoe, Alveston, Stockton and Kineton and all have been proposed for housing. White Consultants have previously completed landscape sensitivity assessments for most of the districts.

LANDMAP- monitoring change and all Wales statistical analysis

We are advisors to Natural Resources Wales on LANDMAP issues including visual and sensory guidance and quality assurance on a national basis. This gives us a wide understanding of the landscape resource of Wales and of the LANDMAP process which we then apply at a local level to inform planning decisions. We are currently assessing Cardiff and Swansea and analysing the local authority group statistics for the 2017 visual and sensory data.

Seascape- Carmarthen Bay, Gower and Swansea Bay seascape character assessment

We are preparing a local seascape character assessment for the City of Swansea Council/ Gower AONB Partnership and other authorities. We are coordinating a multi-disciplinary team including Cardiff University School of Earth and Ocean Sciences building on our expertise gained throughout Wales and in Pembrokeshire. We have carried out extensive stakeholder and web consultation as part of the assessment process.