INDUSTRY NEWS: NEW NPPF LOOKS TO ENHANCE VALUED LANDSCAPES
Looking at the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), one of the core principles outlined is that “planning should recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.”
Chapter 15 of the NPPF focuses on the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment, not dissimilar to the original, however the latest revision raises its profile requiring a more proactive approach to the topic.
Specifically, Paragraph 170 of the NPPF advises that planning decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing valued landscapes. Analysis of both planning and appeal decisions has highlighted that just because a landscape does not have a statutory designation, for instance, being in a National Park or in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not a valued landscape.
Local plans vary in their specific approach to the natural environment but essentially include strategic policies for the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment, including landscape. Designated landscapes, the wider countryside, and the significant advantages from natural capital and ecosystem services need to be appropriately considered in new development proposals.
The planning team at Rural Solutions work closely with our dedicated in-house landscaping team to provide that valuable early advice to ensure that your planning application is landscape led from its conception. A good example of this is a Paragraph 79 project in Pateley Bridge.