Landscape architecture and our local landscape
South Somerset is a large, rural area that enjoys a high quality natural environment representing a wide range of landscapes and habitats from flower rich calcareous grassland to acid heathland; wet fen and grazing marshes, rich in invertebrate and bird life, to hay meadows, bluebell woods to orchards and parklands with veteran trees, supporting rare insects and lichens. These reflect the varied landscape and topography in the district, which in turn is underlain by an extensive and varied range of geological formations of limestones, clays and greensands.
The Council is committed to protect the character and diversity of landscapes of local and national importance, their distinctiveness, wildlife and biodiversity.
The Landscape of South Somerset describes the seven character areas of the district.
The protection of landscapes of national importance is also an objective. Parts of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) lie within the district; The Blackdown Hills AONB and the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB.
A Species Guide to Tree and Shrub planting in South Somerset provides advice on planting projects in association with development and in the countryside related to the different character areas.
Does my application require a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment?
Major complex applications may require a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA).
An LVIA can be key to effective planning decisions since it helps identify the effects of new developments on views and on the landscape itself. These effects can be quite different. Some developments can have visual effects but none on landscape character and some vice versa. A depth of analysis and understanding of these two interrelated aspects is required to produce a successful LVIA.
Who can help me?
If your project may impact on the landscape then you may need an LVIA. Chartered members of the landscape institute can give advice of appropriate practitioners.