LVIA and Designated landscapes.
In our long-running articles on LIVA, Charmaine Noel has written this one on LVIA and Designated landscapes. There is a hierarchy of designations for landscapes in the UK.
International and National designations.
These are the most highly protected landscapes; they have formal statutory protection which varies depending on which part of the UK you are in.
National Park; for example the South Downs National Park, but also National Parks in other parts of England, Wales, and Scotland.
If an LVIA is near to a National Park, it is vital that the value of the landscape and the basis for the national designation is looked at. Why is the landscape considered to be of national value? It may inspire or give feelings of tranquility and remoteness. There may be a unique sense of place derived from the views or great scenic beauty. All of these can form part of the reasons for the highest landscape value and level of protection which is attached to a National Park. for example, South Downs National Park
Why does a particular landscape have a designation? What does this mean in the current climate and how will this landscape need to be managed as a consequence of its designation?
What aspects of a landscape designation are represented in the study area? These landscape features or characteristics will form part of the LVIA assessment. They may also be crucial in determining whether a particular landscape can accommodate change, or not.
Other National levels of Landscape designation are;
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) – such as High Weald AONB (Kent, Sussex, Surrey),
Surrey Hills AONB
Chichester Harbour AONB
Local landscape designations.
Locally protected areas under Local Plan designations (Areas of Great Landscape Value(AGLVs) Special landscape Areas (SLAs) buffer zones for AONBs, whilst Local Plans may show the extent of these areas as well as policies for Local landscape designations.
Tree Preservation Orders or TPO’s.
Important historic hedgerows.
Cultural heritage landscapes; historic landscapes, these may include listed gardens, historic sites such as castles or battlefields.
Valued landscapes – for instance, landscapes associated with a particular artist or writer.
So, how do we establish the value of a particular landscape? It is useful to look up the landscape designations and landscape character assessments.
Desk study forms part of the research undertaken prior to carrying out fieldwork. Local landscape character assessments, plus national landscape character assessments will help to determine the existing landscape character baseline of a site, as well as the certain values which society places on particular aspects of a landscape.
The collection of field survey notes of the up to date condition of the landscape are also very important in assessing landscape condition, a sensitivity of the landscape and its ability to accommodate change.
For further details on your LVIA, contact the Landvision team on 01892 782200.