Save time, do it online: Pay Apply Report

Landscape and visual assessment

Used to assess any potential impacts on visual amenity and landscape character.

When required

  • new caravan sites or extensions to existing sites
  • solar energy systems
  • wind turbines
  • major developments on the edge of settlements or within the open countryside
  • development within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This will depend upon the scale and location of the development
  • development which may have a significant landscape or visual impact

Guidance

A landscape and visual assessment should usually include the following information on the following topics.

Topography

An explanation of how the topography of the site has affected the design of the proposed scheme.

Current land uses

An explanation of any change of use of land and how it will affect the appearance of the landscape or adjoining land uses.

Existing trees, hedges, woodland blocks and belts, water bodies and ditches

An explanation of the effect of the proposed development on hedges, woodland, trees, reservoirs, watercourses, pondsĀ and other featuresĀ that are important for site drainage and wildlife habitat.

Man-made features

Consideration should be given to any existing visually intrusive man-made features

Views

Identify key views from the surrounding area to the development site. Explain how the proposed development will be likely to be visible from and/or alter these views. This should include any changes to boundary treatments, access or vegetation.

Consideration should be given as to whether the proposed development is likely to be visible from surrounding areas where there are currently no views.

Landscape character

Where the proposal is located within open countryside or a small settlement, describe the landscape character of the application site and adjacent surroundings.

You should provide an analysis of the key landscape features and special qualities of the area. Include details of any historic pattern of field boundaries, woodlands and/or settlements in the surrounding area.

Settlement character

Where the proposal is located within or adjacent to an existing settlement, describe the character of the settlement.

This should include:

  • the type of settlement (town, village or hamlet)
  • the predominant type of building (terraced, detached, single or two storey, architectural style, age and typical building materials)
  • Provide an explanation of the effect of the proposal on key views to the wider landscape from the settlement together with the effect of the proposal on local landmarks or any approach roads, gateways and footways to the settlement

Habitat character

Where the proposal is located on land or is adjacent to land that could provide priority habitats for wildlife (this may include unimproved upland, moorland, coastal wetland or limestone pavement), describe the effect the proposal may have upon the habitat character, together with any mitigation.

Heritage assets

Where the development is located within or adjacent to a heritage asset (listed buildings, scheduled monuments, conservation areas and registered parks and gardens), describe the effect the proposal may have upon any heritage assets.

Non-designated heritage assets

These may include above and below ground archaeology.

Buildings, land or features with a historic, architectural community or archaeological interest can be considered as heritage assets, even if they are not nationally designated.

Archaeological interest may apply to heritage assets, whether designated or not, when the development and history of a building may only be revealed through archaeological investigation, when modern features and additions are removed.

Recreation

Where the development is located on or adjacent to a public right of way, bridleway, national and local cycle route, open access land and key tourist destinations (beauty spots, view points) and describe measures which may enhance the enjoyment of the special qualities of the surrounding area.