Landscape character assessment
We undertake landscape character assessment (LCAs) and all related studies, such as local landscape designation reviews and landscape sensitivity studies. LCAs identify areas of similar character, classifying and mapping them and describing their character. Our approach is to apply current good practice, define what is important in the landscape and devise strategies to ensure that this is conserved and enhanced whilst improving degraded landscapes.
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Studies include district and local level assessments. Our key objective is to ensure that a robust landscape evidence base fully and usefully informs the planning framework at all scales.
We carry out local landscape designation (LLD) studies to identify and protect valued landscapes at a district level. We have developed a method based on good practice. Whilst in England the criteria used relate to identifying nationally designated landscapes, in Scotland and Wales the local level of designation is recognised. We have found that LLDs are consistent with the old and revised NPPF and our studies have successfully underpinned designations in Stratford-on-Avon and in the Cotswolds, outside the AONB.
We work in nationally designated landscapes including National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in both England and Wales. Our studies have considered seascapes and sensitivity to various forms of development such as renewables or tourist development. We also offer development management advice.
Finer grain studies have been undertaken to explore how to tackle landscape character management. We prepared a landscape strategy for a large country estate in Leicestershire with many tenant farmers to try to arrest the gradual degradation of the landscape through a comprehensive strategy and sensitive redevelopment of underused built assets.