Planning Portal

PPS 1: General Principles
Development Plans: Countryside Assessment

42. Countryside Assessments are an integral part of the development plan-making process. They will normally include the following four inter-related strands:
  • An Environmental Assets Appraisal that seeks to establish and evaluate the environmental assets and resources of a plan area, for example, important landscapes, wildlife habitats and archaeological and historic features. It will also assist in defining development plan designations such as Areas of Townscape Character.
  • A Landscape Assessment to define the main landscape character areas of the plan area and the variations between them. Where appropriate, it will identify landscapes that are vulnerable because of their limited capacity to absorb further development.
  • A Development Pressure Analysis that seeks to identify areas where significant development pressure has occurred and/or where local rural character is under threat of significant change. Combined with the landscape assessment this information will inform the designation of Green Belts and Countryside Policy Areas.
  • A Settlement Appraisal which in conjunction with an assessment of development needs of a plan area will provide the basis for identification of limits of development and where appropriate land use zonings.
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