Special Landscape Areas: Landscape Conservation or Confusion in the Town and Country Planning System?

By Scott, Alister; Bullen, Anna | The Town Planning Review, June 2004 | Go to article overview

Special Landscape Areas: Landscape Conservation or Confusion in the Town and Country Planning System?


Scott, Alister, Bullen, Anna, The Town Planning Review


This paper assesses the efficacy and relevance of the Special Landscape Area (SLA) designation - a nonstatutory planning designation within the British planning system. SLAs cover significant areas of countryside, yet they remain neglected in planning research. The research reported here uses primary and secondary data to allow a critical assessment of SLAs across Wales. The results reveal confusion and contradiction within contemporary guidance and development plan policy highlighting an emerging discourse between planners who seek to protect landscape using SLAs and those who advocate a more holistic approach. It is concluded that the emphasis on designation as a prime tool for landscape planning is outdated and in need of urgent reform towards a more multifunctional assessment of landscape character.

Special Landscape Areas (SLAs) are one of several non-statutory local landscape designations administered by local authorities in Britain. In theory such nonstatutory designations have their distinctive philosophies, aims and scope that sits within the lower tier of the designation hierarchy. Although they vary considerably across the landscapes of the constituent parts of Britain, statutory landscape designations are at the head of the hierarchy. England, for instance, has statutory legislation for National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and Green Belts are designated in Statutory Development Plans, while Wales has no Green Belts and Scotland has only recently legislated for National Parks, with National Scenic Areas performing a comparable role to AONBs. Such statutory designations have been subject to detailed research and empirical study, whereas the non-statutory designations have been largely ignored. The research reported in this paper was designed to redress this imbalance and help uncover more information on SLAs in particular and the utility of non-statutory designations more generally.

Since recent national policy guidance advocates caution in the use of SLAs, and an earlier study focusing on Ceredigion County Council in Mid-Wales had raised serious questions about the effectiveness and value of SLAs, the present research sought to validate and develop these findings within a wider Welsh context (Countryside Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage, 2002; Welsh Assembly Government, 2002; Scott, 2001). The paper begins with a review of the wider context of landscape designations and the planning framework within which SLAs operate.

The core of the paper focuses on the results from a key informant survey of planners and landscape managers across all 22 unitary authorities in Wales, together with documentary analyses of development plans. Three key questions are explored in detail - the robustness and soundness of the SLA designation; its perception by local planners and other stakeholders; and its operation and enforcement in local planning policies.

Landscape designations and the planning system

Shifting values and perceptions of landscape have played a critical role in shaping and defining the landscape and culture of rural Britain (Gold and Burgess, 1982; Moore-Colyer, 2002). Historically, landscape matters were the preserve of the professional and educated elite, who significantly influenced the development and focus of landscape designations and protection in Britain in the early twentieth century with a predilection towards upland and wild landscapes (Shoard, 1982a). The roots of this elitist and professional interest can be traced back to the nineteenth century with the emergence of the Picturesque and Romantic movements (Pepper, 1996). Planning policy formulation was developed with the influential Dower and Hobhouse reports and three pieces of primary post-war legislation - the Town and Country Planning Act 1947, the Agriculture Act 1947 and the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Although these acts created the framework within which the English and Welsh landscape designations were to evolve, they also secured the separate pathways and subsequent institutional structures between landscape and nature conservation (Cullingworth and Nadin, 1997). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Special Landscape Areas: Landscape Conservation or Confusion in the Town and Country Planning System?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.