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Landscape Character Assessment

Winchfield Parish Council commissioned Michelle Bolger Expert Landscape Consultancy (MBELC) to prepare a Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) as part of the evidence base for the update of the Winchfield Neighbourhood Development Plan (WNDP). The LCA and the associated Appendix are attached below.

The LCA is the process of identifying and describing the character of the landscape. LCA documents identify and explain the unique combination of elements and features that make landscapes distinctive by mapping and describing character types and areas. They also show how the landscape is perceived, experienced and valued by people. By setting down a robust, auditable and transparent baseline LCA it will enable the WNDP Steering Group to create appropriate policies to sustain and protect our local landscape.

Hart District Council agreed that the existing District and County Landscape Character Assessments were prepared some time ago and required an update. The current National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) at paragraph 174 also includes the following guidance:

Planning policies and decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by:

a) protecting and enhancing valued landscapes, sites of biodiversity or geological value and soils (in a manner commensurate with their statutory status or identified quality in the development plan);

b) recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside, and the wider benefits from natural capital and ecosystem services

The next steps in the process will be to produce 2 further draft reports, based on the LCA, which have been commissioned by the Parish Council with MBELC, to support new policies in the emerging NDP review. These draft reports will be made available on the website in time for comment at the next Public Engagement meeting in Winchfield Village Hall on November 28th, they are:

Key Views

A Key View is defined as a view which allows Winchfield’s landscape qualities to be easily appreciated and valued. They contribute positively to the distinctive character and sense of place within the Parish and should be conserved and enhanced. It is anticipated that future development proposals will respect the key views identified in this report and enhance them wherever possible. In this way the identification of Key Views will help to conserve Winchfield’s distinctive character and sense of place. for more information see the Key Views page of this website.

Local Green Spaces (LGS)

The NPPF defines LGS designation as a way to provide special protection against development for green areas of particular importance to local communities. The LGS is a designation for use in Local and Neighbourhood Plans and once designated LGS have protection consistent with that in respect of Green Belt. For more information see the Local Green Spaces page of this website.