Landscape character assessment

Landscape character assessment is the distinct and recognisable pattern of elements that occur consistently in a particular landscape. It is essential to inform responsible decision making and is a pre-requisite for the planning of sustainable future landscapes, which in turn should protect the environment while accommodating and influencing change.

Particular combinations of geology, landform, soils, vegetation, land use, field patterns and human settlement create character. Character makes each part of the landscape distinct and gives each its sense of place. Each character area has its own identity, even though it may share some generic characteristics with other areas.

The Cheshire landscape character assessment

The Cheshire landscape character assessment provides an up to date classification of the whole of Cheshire's landscape which can be used for making assessments of landscape character for development management and as a basis in the formulation of a Landscape Strategy in the future.

The aims of a future Landscape Strategy would be to:

  • inform new planning policies on landscape, as well as Supplementary Planning Documents
  • guide and inform the development control process 
  • promote public awareness of landscape character and the importance of conservation and enhancement of the landscape
  • guide and inform project planning by local and national agencies
  • assist the formulation of landscape management policies

The Cheshire landscape character assessment documents

Cheshire Landscape Character Assessment Map
Introduction to Methodology (PDF, 400KB)

Landscape assessment of Congleton Borough

A Landscape Assessment of Congleton Borough carried out in 1999 by Chris Blandford Associates. This study was commissioned jointly by the former Congleton Borough Council and Cheshire County Council. The study aims to improve the design of new buildings within the countryside by promoting new development which is harmonious with its setting and which respects and sustains local diversity and distinctiveness. The study followed established techniques evolved by Natural England in its publication Landscape Assessment Guidance which divides the landscape of the Borough into broadly homogenous units of similar character, of which eleven such areas were identified. The study also incorporates a specific section on the main settlements, both urban and rural, which are located within the identified character areas.

Landscape assessment of Congleton Borough documents

For further information on landscape character, resources, case studies and links to landscape character assessments, including the European Landscape Convention, visit the Landscape Character Network.