Landscape character assessment is the process of identifying and describing variation in character of the landscape, by mapping and describing the unique combination of elements and features that make landscapes distinctive. It can also highlight how the landscape is perceived, experienced and valued by people.
HDA’s character assessment methodology accords with the latest Natural England guidelines, and follows a hierarchical approach, first identifying broad Landscape Types which share common combinations of geology, topography, vegetation and human influences, and then more discrete geographical Character Areas which exhibit varying combinations of the recognisable characteristics found within the Landscape Types.
HDA has considerable expertise in preparing Landscape Character Assessments, ranging from county and district wide studies which become part of planning policy evidence bases, to parish scale assessments which inform neighbourhood plans.
The Vale of White Horse Landscape Character Assessment was prepared by HDA as part of the district’s local plan process, and sets out the landscape context of the district, identifies and describes 14 Landscape Types, and includes guidelines for broad objectives and principles to manage and direct landscape change.
HDA also prepares local scale assessments, such as the character assessment for Blewbury Parish, in Oxfordshire, which identified key characteristics and sensitivities, and helped guide suitable locations for potential development.
Consideration of landscape character is invariably the starting point for a wide range of further assessment and analysis. HDA’s Landscape Character Assessment of Surrey enabled HDA to assess the landscape surrounding the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) against Natural England’s natural beauty criteria in order to recommend a revised boundary to the AONB.
Character Assessment also provides the foundation for landscape sensitivity and capacity studies, which identify the capacity of particular landscapes to accommodate future development while avoiding unacceptable impact on landscape character. Character Assessment also often provides the basis for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.
HDA was commissioned by Basingstoke and Deane Council to prepare an updated Landscape Character Assessment for the Borough. The study looks at 20 landscape character areas, from the elevated chalklands in the south to the lowland mosaic in the north, and includes part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the …
HDA prepared a Landscape Character Assessment for the Vale of White Horse District. The study adheres to Natural England best practice guidance, employing a hierarchical approach identifying broad scale Landscape Types and then more detailed Character Areas. The work sets out the landscape context of the District and identifies and describes 14 Landscape Types within …
HDA was commissioned by Surrey County Council, and part funded by Natural England, to prepare a Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) for Surrey, and to review the boundary of Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The LCA was prepared following Natural England best practice guidance, maintaining a hierarchical distinction between Landscape Types and Character …