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Landscape Character Assessment

We have a varied and dynamic landscape within the borough as shown by the presence of four different countryside character areas at national level.

They vary from the lowland heaths of sandy soil and London clay in the north, to the iconic east-west chalk spine of the North Downs across its centre, to the undulating, heavily wooded greens and hills to the south.

Ash-RangesEDIT_300ppi_CMYK rural-wey

View the four different icon countryside character areas [155.15KB]

clumps-print-reduced An assessment of the borough's landscape has been completed by Land Use Consultants to provide information about what makes it special and varied. Our Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) was adopted in January 2007, forming part of the evidence base to support policies within the emerging Local Plan. It provides a strategy on how change through built development and land management can be guided to protect, conserve and enhance our landscape character

The LCA has many applications in a number of different domains and our assessment looks at the landscape of the borough, from its rural countryside to the townscapes within its urban centres.

This assessment captures the landscape of Guildford Borough, as seen through the eyes of people who live, work or care for the area, and will provide guidance on the suitability and management of change.

This assessment does not imply the need to 'freeze' the landscape. Instead it will guide the direction of any future change or evolution through development or management, by indicating sensitivities that should be considered, and providing the most positive opportunities for change and minimising negative impact.

It also gives an opportunity to make better connections between our needs and the landscape we live in. By drawing on an understanding of the landscape itself we can positively influence the shape and nature of our future communities.

All development proposals will provide positive benefit in terms of landscape and townscape character and local distinctiveness and will have regard to the identified landscape character areas.

To protect local landscape and townscape character, development will be expected to:

  • Conserve, and where possible, enhance existing character - especially key landscape and settlement characteristics - maintain locally valued features, and enhance or restore deteriorating features.
  • Respect the setting of, and relationship between, settlements and buildings in the landscape.
  • Conserve, and where possible, enhance townscape character, including structure and form, landscape features, views and landmarks, and appropriate building styles and materials.
  • Support land management practices that have no adverse impact on characteristic landscape patterns and local biodiversity.

Our LCA has been compiled into three reports:

  • 1:25,000 borough-wide rural assessment
  • 1:10,000 rural-urban fringe assessment
  • 1:10,000 townscape assessment (which deals separately with Guildford Town, Ash and Tongham)

To help you understand and interpret Guildford's LCA, see our guidance notes and our icon Glossary of terms [40.7KB] .