Landscape and seascape character assessments

Natural England and DEFRA have published guidance on how to carry out and use landscape and seascape character assessments.

The guidance "Landscape and seascape character assessments" provides a summary on landscape character assessment (LCA) and landscape character assessment (LCA). LCA is the process of identifying and describing variation in character of the landscape, while SCA is the equivalent for coastal and marine landscapes. Both LCA and SCA are prepared by local councils, planning departments, community groups, consultants, developers, private practices, land owners.

LCA are prepared  to inform a wide range of activities, such as:

  • planning policies and decisions
  • sensitivity and capacity studies
  • land management plans
  • landscape and visual impact assessments
  • local council studies
  • minerals planning
  • place making
  • green infrastructure
  • agri-environment schemes
  • forest and woodland strategies
  • waterways strategies
  • renewable energy
  • national park management plans
  • LCAs are also useful for monitoring change across the landscape.

The Guidance includes the following sections:

  • Who should prepare LCAs,
  • What LCAs are used for,
  • How to carry out an LCA,
  • What to include,
  • Using old LCAs,
  • Record keeping,
  • Seascape character assessments.

As well as LCA, the guidance seascape character assessment (SCA). As there is often crossover between LCA and SCA, they can be combine into a landscape and seascape character assessments if it’s appropriate.

Date: 02/10/2014 Date of publication

Author: Natural England/DEFRA

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 4.25

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