Landscape & development management

Planning policy

The consideration of landscape matters is an important part of the determination of a planning application and is guided by various national and local policies, for example:

Pre-application discussions

It is often very valuable to enter into pre-application discussions with the Local Planning Authority before submitting a planning application. It should be noted that there may be a charge for pre-application advice, dependant on the size and complexity of the proposals.

For any pre-application discussions to take place it is important for us to have sufficient information about your proposals and we are unable to make any site visits without this information.  You should provide:

  • a location map
  • a plan of the site
  • photographs of the site
  • sketch plans of your proposals
  • overall landscape concept for the site post-development
  • general details of any trees, walls or other features to be removed

The opinion provided by an officer as part of pre-application discussions is not binding on the authority in its determination of any planning application.

The application process

As part of your planning application you may be required to provide additional landscape information. The level of information will depend on the type, scale and complexity of planning application, and might include a range of issues from the details of any trees to be removed to a detailed landscape assessment and appraisal and/or landscape scheme. Each application type is accompanied by a checklist, which states what information should be submitted with the application.

Landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA)

Developments that may have a significant impact on the landscape of the area will require a landscape and visual impact assessment. This is of particular concern in areas of high landscape quality or with known landscape assets, including conservation areashistoric parks and gardens, the Cotswold Water Park, the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Special Landscape Areas. If you are unsure whether your application will require such an assessment, please contact us.

The LVIA should include an assessment of:

  • the impact of the proposals on any relevant protected landscape assets,
  • the impact of the development on the wider landscape – both countryside and settlements,
  • the contribution of the proposals towards enhancing the landscape character of the area,
  • the justification for the development.

The scope and degree of detail necessary will depend on the particular circumstances of the case but the assessment should include photographs/photomontages of the site and its surroundings and other illustrations, for example perspectives. Further advice can be found in the Landscape Institute (2013) publication - Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (GLVIA) 3rd edition.

It is likely that a suitably qualified and experienced landscape architect will have to be appointed to carry out this work. For more information on how to select and appoint a landscape consultant please see:

Landscape Scheme

Many development proposals will require a landscape scheme. The key characteristics of a site and its surroundings, which are described within the landscape assessment, should be conserved and enhanced through the landscape scheme. If you are unsure whether your application will require such a scheme, please contact us.

The Design and Access Statement should also refer to landscape in providing a design concept, which can be used as the starting point for a more detailed landscape scheme. Existing trees and other vegetation should be retained where possible in new developments and protected during construction.

For outline applications where landscape is a reserved matter a landscape strategy may be sufficient.

For applications for approval of reserved matters and full planning permission a more detailed landscape scheme will be needed and should usually include: 

  • details of existing trees/vegetation to be retained and removed (this may include a specification of species, age, condition, canopy spread),
  • the position and type of proposed temporary protective fencing during construction works (BS 5837 2012),
  • proposed landscape design to include soft landscape proposals (trees/shrubs/herbaceous materials/bulbs and grassed areas); changes in level; means of enclosure; hard surface materials; structures and furniture (e.g. refuse bins/lighting),
  • proposed planting to show the variety, planting sizes and numbers of trees and other planting material,
  • basic soft landscape specification for all planting material, grassed areas etc. (reference to the relevant British Standard will usually be sufficient, e.g. BS  3936: 1992 part 1 specification Nursery Stock; BS 5236:1989 Advanced Nursery Stock and BS.4428: 1989 Landscape Operations),
  • details of plant protection and support, i.e. tree stakes and ties, rabbit  guards etc.,
  • schedule of maintenance (usually 5 years), where appropriate,  
  • a management plan where appropriate.

Policy 45 of the Cotswold District Local Plan details the landscaping required in new developments.

It is likely that a suitably qualified and experienced landscape architect will have to be appointed to carry out this work. For more information on how to select and appoint a landscape consultant please see:

It is helpful if any landscape assessment/appraisal or landscape scheme is prepared together with the following for the site:

Conditions with planning permission

Your planning permission may include conditions related to landscaping and it is important that you comply with these conditions, for example the implementation of the landscaping scheme, re-planting of any trees or shrubs that die, protection of retained trees etc.

 

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road
Cirencester
Gloucestershire
GL7 1PX