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ACLA worked as a consultant to DLA ltd to prepare a Landscape and Visual Impact Assesment to determine a planning application for the location of polytunnels in the Wye Valley, Herefordshire. The Polytunnel debate is ongoing and seeks to strike a balance between the economic needs for sustainable soft fruit production, wider environmental implications & visual impacts. Homme Farm have proposed tunnels over a 377 hectare site to the south of Ross on Wye in the AONB ( Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The mitigation included rotating the polytunnels over a number of years to minimise the visual impact at any one point in time & reinstate & enhance the existing landscape framework with strategically planted native trees, hedges & woodlands.
The planning application has been approved, but there was the potential for the decision to be reversed, as Herefordshire Council are under a Judicial Review over the decision not to include the proposals under 'Annex/Schedule 2 projects'. The proposals where not thought to have a 'significant environmental affect' but if the decision had been reversed a full Environmental Impact Assesment would have been required. The judge ruled in favour of the Council in January 2011. The decision will have a major impact on farming methods and the future environment of the Wye Valley.
A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment was also prepared to support a succesful planning application for a reservoir within the land holding for the sustainable suppy of water to the polytunnels. The reservoir has been designed to incorporate wetland/marginal habitats with carefully designed margins, shallows and planting to ehance the wildlife value. A 10 year management plan was also prepared and this has been incorporated within the granting of planning permission.
Landscape & Visual Impact Assessments (LVIAs) are often a requirement for a planning applications if the visual impact or the wider environmental impact of a development could be considered to be adverse. ACLA has carried out over forty LVIAs in Berkshire, Herefordshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Cornwall and other sites across the UK.
The reports assess the current environmental condition, its sensitivity and its ability to absorb change. We then assess impacts on the environment assuming the development is to take place. We suggest mitigation measures to reduce the impacts to an acceptable level if possible or necessary. Mitigation could be through direct design such as: a reduction in size/scale, re-location or by repairing/enhancing surrounding habitats, planting screen belts or native hedge planting. All our LVIA reports are carried out in line with the current guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.
Other Selected LVIA Plans & Projects