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JCS_MasterDocument_v7a_CLIENT_24.01.18

SD6 – LANDSCAPE

SD6 – LANDSCAPE Background 4.6.1 The JCS area contains a wide variety of landscapes, ranging from the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the east to the River Severn and its floodplain in the west. The different landscapes have been characterised by landscape assessment work, which forms a baseline against which change can be measured. Landscape character is defined as the distinct and recognisable pattern of elements that occur consistently in a particular type of landscape. It is based on the combination and relationships between the physical features of the landscape such as 4.6.2 landform, geology, soils, ecology and vegetation, land use and human settlement. It creates a particular sense of place for different areas of the landscape. The landscape of the JCS area provides the setting for its towns and villages. Landscape character is a key component of an area’s identity and development will be required to respect it. Landscape proposals for new development should be appropriate to the landscape character of the locality and contribute to local distinctiveness. Policy SD6: Landscape 1. Development will seek to protect landscape character for its own intrinsic beauty and for its benefit to economic, environmental and social well-being; 2. Proposals will have regard to the local distinctiveness and historic character of the different landscapes in the JCS area, drawing, as appropriate, upon existing Landscape Character Assessments and the Landscape Character and Sensitivity Analysis. They will be required to demonstrate how the development will protect or enhance landscape character and avoid detrimental effects on types, patterns and features which make a significant contribution to the character, history and setting of a settlement or area; 3. All applications for development will consider the landscape and visual sensitivity of the area in which they are to be located or which they may affect. Planning applications will be supported by a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment where, at the discretion of the Local Planning Authority, one is required. Proposals for appropriate mitigation and enhancement measures should also accompany applications. This policy contributes towards achieving Objectives 4 and 9. Explanation 4.6.3 Landscape character is a key component of the European Landscape Convention (Council of Europe), which seeks to protect, manage and create landscapes, and is based on the premise that all landscapes are important. A key component in implementing the convention is the National Character Areas map of England, which sets out landscape character on a broad scale, with the principal areas in the JCS area being the Severn and Avon Vale (NCA106) and the Cotswolds (NCA107). National Character Area Profiles have been prepared by Natural England for both these areas and identify key features and enhancement opportunities. The importance of landscape protection – both at national and local level – is reflected in the NPPF where, together with protection of nationally designated landscape areas, government requires the planning system to protect and enhance within the local environment ‘valued landscapes, geological conservation interests and soils’. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 52

4.6.4 4.6.5 The relevant Landscape Character Assessments (LCAs) for the JCS area are those for The Cotswolds AONB and for Gloucestershire as a whole. The Gloucestershire LCA divides the county into landscape character areas and identifies a number of different landscape types and the key issues for their conservation and enhancement. The findings of the LCA are a key factor to be considered in the design of developments and in assessing their impacts. In the urban fringe areas, a Landscape Characterisation and Sensitivity Analysis (LCSA) has been undertaken. This identifies in more detail the landscape character and sensitivity of potential development sites around Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury. It should be used to assess the impact of developments in the urban fringe areas. The analysis grades sensitivity in five categories from low to high with high-medium and high categories being particularly sensitive to development. 4.6.6 4.6.7 4.6.8 In areas outside the area covered by the LCSA, the Local Planning Authority will advise whether an assessment should be included with an application for development to demonstrate that sensitivity has been taken into account. It is important that landscape character is assessed in process terms separately from visual impact in evaluating the potential impact of development. These two elements, when considered together, enable an assessment to be made of the sensitivity to change of different landscapes. Delivery This policy will primarily be delivered through the development management process and via implementation of other policies within the plan, such as Policy SD4. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 53

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