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Practical Approaches to Landscape Sensitivity and Capacity

15th October 2009, Brunel’s Boardroom, Brunel's Old Station, Bristol

Download workshop proceedings pdf (1.1MB)

Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) is being widely employed as a tool to help guide decisions about the allocation and management of land for different types of development. Assessing the sensitivity of landscapes is recognised as an essential step in strategic planning. Landscape sensitivity is dependent on the distinctive characteristics of a landscape and the visibility of landscape change. Sensitivity to particular types of change is linked to the particular characteristics of the proposed change. Landscape capacity identifies the amount of change that can be accommodated: it reflects the idea of limits to acceptable change.

Since the publication in 2004 of Landscape Character Assessment Topic Paper 6 on this topic, many practitioners have developed methods based upon the concepts discussed in the paper. This workshop provided an opportunity to learn about practical approaches to understanding landscape sensitivity and capacity.

The workshop included presentations by practitioners and opportunities for open discussion. Debate continues about the different approaches to landscape sensitivity and capacity and this workshop provided an opportunity to participate in the debate and to help inform future guidance.

The workshop was open to all, with attendance limited to 60 places. The workshop appealed to anyone with an interest in landscape planning and sustainable development.



Carys Swanwick (Chair): The University of Sheffield


David Carman: Hampshire County Council


Peter Herring: English Heritage


Caroline Stanton : Scottish Natural Heritage


Julian Francis and Richard Copas: Environment Agency


Jeff Stevenson: Jeffrey Stevenson Associates


Jim Wood: Capita Lovejoy