Landscape policy and guidance

landscape windfarm

Devon’s landscape is subject to constant pressures for change, whether as a result of population increase, the need to strengthen our economy, changes in land management, visitor pressure, or the effects of climate change.

Devon Landscape Policy Group Advice Notes 1 – 4

Devon Landscape Policy Group Advice Note 1: A Guide to Devon’s landscape character assessments

This Advice Note describes the content and purpose of Devon’s LCAs which are used in planning and land management initiatives. It provides a record of how the LCAs were developed through collaboration between Devon planning authorities, AONB partnerships and Natural England, to achieve a shared evidence base on landscape for local and neighbourhood plans that is consistent across administrative boundaries. This Advice Note is currently being redrafted but a summary is available.

Devon Landscape Policy Group Advice Note 2: Accommodating wind and solar pv developments in Devon’s landscape: Guidance on minimising harm to the distinctive character and special qualities of Devon’s landscape through sensitive siting and design.

Devon Landscape Policy Group Advice Note 2 has now been finalised by LUC who have made further revisions to the document in response to comments on the consultation draft received in March and April 2013. The DLPG would like to thank all those who commented on the draft. A record of comments received and how they were responded to is available on request from DCC’s landscape officer.

Landscape advice for highway designers and managers

Devon County Council has published a protocol and accompanying guidance for highway design and management in Devon’s protected landscapes. The principles of the guidance may be applied in all rural areas of Devon.

Devon Landscape Policy Group Advice Note 3: Principles of defining and maintaining the character of Devon’s undeveloped coast.

The draft Advice Note 3, published in November 2013, seeks to respond to NPPF 114 and the duty to co-operate in the context of Devon’s previous coastal protection policy, following the abolition of the Devon Structure Plan and the county designation of ‘Coastal Protection Area’. It outlines guiding principles which the Group encourages strategic planners to apply in their Local Plan in order to achieve consistent policy and guidance on this issue between neighbouring Devon coastal planning authorities. Maintaining the character of the undeveloped coast is also a policy issue for the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) when preparing Marine Plans relating to Devon’s coast. The Devon Landscape Policy Group would like to thank all those who have participated in and presented at the DLPG workshop on 17 July 2013, as well as those who have commented on the draft. In the light of these comments, the consultation draft requires further review, which it is hoped will be achieved through collaboration between strategic planners and landscape officers in Devon Planning Authorities, and the MMO.

Devon Landscape Policy Group Advice Note 4: Using Landscape Character assessments in Neighbourhood Planning

The Advice Note 4 published in June 2015, is intended for use by those involved in the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans. It describes the concept of ‘landscape’, and why it should be considered in neighbourhood planning. It introduces Devon’s landscape character assessments and how this evidence can be used and applied in the development of local policies relating to landscape. It also includes useful tips and sources of further information.

The DLPG welcomes feedback on these advice notes and will take these into account when revising and updating them in future. If you wish to make a comment on these advice notes, please do so by email.

How do we protect and enhance what we value in our landscapes whilst planning for sustainable development and managing change?

We protect and enhance what we value in our landscapes in the following ways:

  • Landscape designations such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty aim to protect the beauty of our very best and and nationally valued landscapes. The protection of these is covered by legislation and is reflected in national and local planning policies. Devon’s protected landscapes are each accompanied by a Management Plan that seeks to safeguard its special qualities and manage change
  • The National Planning Policy Framework requires local planning authorities to work across administrative boundaries to deliver strategic planning priorities including the conservation and enhancement of the landscape (156). This includes maintaining the character of Devon’s undeveloped coast (114), and identifying and protecting areas of tranquillity (123). It also encourages sustainable development to be well sited and of a good design quality that responds to local character (58), protects and enhances valued landscapes (109), and mitigate adverse effects through good design (65), ensuring development addresses the connection between people and place and is integrated into the environment (61)
  • The distinctive character and special qualities of all Devon landscapes is described and articulated through Devon’s landscape character assessments. Landscape policies in local development documents should refer to these evidence bases in order to encourage sensitive siting and design of development that minimises harm to the character and valued qualities of Devon’s landscape. Guidelines set down within Devon’s landscape character assessments encourage landowners to maintain and enhance local landscapes in a way that sustains landscape character and quality for future generations
  • Specific guidance on landscape related issues can encourage best practice and a high standard of siting and design of development. Guidance may be National or Devon-specific.

Useful links