AFA has been undertaking Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) since it was first developed in the early 1980’s. LCA now provides a fundamental framework for policy development as well a significant influence on detailed design and decision-making.

We are able to gather together disparate information about a place and quickly reach a strong understanding of local identity. We are able to accurately assess and articulates what matters in a local environment and why and we are adept at integrating and updating existing LCAs.

We work on a broad range of projects, from the regional to the very local and undertake, and use, LCA in all our work including:

  • neighbourhood planning;
  • local plan development;
  • planning applications for new development;
  • sensitivity and capacity studies;
  • design and management guidelines;
  • landscape evaluation;
  • specific environmental initiatives;
  • conservation management.
Touching the Tide LCA

AFA was appointed by the Touching the Tide Landscape Partnership to undertake a landscape character assessment for the project area which includes coastal landscapes and three distinct estuaries - the Blyth, the Alde-Ore and the Deben. The majority of the area falls within the wider Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The aim of the project was to capture the changing landscape character along the coast and in relation to individual estuaries, supplementing the existing landscape character types, as well as provide a public and accessible narrative of the landscape to engage local communities as part of the Landscape Partnership scheme.

Greensand Ridge LCA

AFA was appointed as lead consultant by the Greensand Ridge Landscape Partnership to undertake a landscape character assessment along with an Historic Characterisation Assessment, Sandstone Structures Audit and Parklands Audit. The project area stretches from Milton Keynes/Leighton Buzzard and Gamlingay and comprises an elevated Greensand Ridge and three river valleys - the Ozel, Flit and Ivel. The purpose of the LCA is to provide an understanding of the variety of landscape within the area and to record what is special and distinctive in order to inform and provide a framework for future Partnership work. It also considers landscape change and landscape management and thus will inform wider land management and decision making for planners and land managers in the longer term.

Tyndale and Northumberland National Park LCA

AFA, in association with Julie Martin Associates, was commissioned by Tynedale District Council and Northumberland National Park Authority to prepare a comprehensive landscape character assessment of the combined area of the two authorities. The study area, which covers some 221,000 hectares, represents one of the finest landscapes in the United Kingdom, including not only the National Park but also the northern part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The assessment was commissioned in recognition of the importance of these landscapes and of the need for a detailed assessment of their character that would provide a basis for informed landscape-related decisions.