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''All decisions made by us regarding developments (including those relating to planning applications, minerals and waste local plans, restoration plans etc.) need to consider the impact or likely impact on the countryside and local people.

There is a need to ensure that developments are well designed to have the minimum landscape and visual impact. For example, how can a quarry progressively develop to meet changing needs or extensions into additional areas?

Design work carried out in conjunction with new road developments and involvement in implementing these schemes is now having a large positive visual impact on the Staffordshire road network in places.

Planning guidance

An important piece of work has been undertaken to assess the whole of the Staffordshire landscape, sub-dividing the landscape into areas of similar character, what we call landscape character types.

The quality of the landscapes has been assessed and this information has been used to prepare supplementary planning guidance to help inform the planning process.

'Planning for landscape change' supplementary planning guidance

The following documents are aimed primarily at planning officers within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent development plan, and at developers and others who need to be informed about policy and practice for the conservation, enhancement and regeneration of the rural landscapes of the plan area.

The guidance was originally prepared to support the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent structure plan, and although this has now been revoked the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent joint waste local plan (2010 to 2026) (adopted March 2013) requires that regard is given to planning for landscape change or its successor document which will remain a material consideration.

The guidance may also prove to be of value in a wider context, as a means of informing other decisions relating to land use and land management.

The full supplementary planning guidance comprises:

  • Introduction and user's guide (volume 1) (1.4 MB)
    a general introduction to 'planning for landscape change', the supplementary planning guidance, with guidance on how to use it.

  • Supporting documentation (volume 2) (1.7 MB)
    an explanation of the method used to generate the maps and landscape descriptions for 'planning for landscape change'. This includes 'the basis of the supplementary planning guidance', and 'the derivation of the guidance'.

  • Landscape descriptions (volume 3) (4.7 MB)
    a series of detailed descriptions of the character of Staffordshire's landscapes, to provide guidance and inform about policy and practice for the conservation, enhancement and regeneration of the rural landscapes of Staffordshire. Also valuable in a wider context as a means of informing other decisions relating to land use and land management.

  • Maps and plans (appendix 1) (4.5 MB)
    a set of maps and plans showing the following:
    • landscape policy zones in Staffordshire - a map of the areas to which landscape policy objectives apply

    • landscape character types in Staffordshire - a map showing the distribution of a number of distinct types of landscape that are found within the county

    • regional character areas in and around Staffordshire - identifies the nine regional character areas across Staffordshire as prepared by the former Countryside Commission and English Nature.

    • schematic diagram showing the derivation of landscape planning objectives - methodology used to develop landscape planning objectives
  • Preferred areas for woodland initiatives (appendix 2) (6.1 MB)
     a document indicating the areas that are preferred for targeting resources for woodland initiatives, including new planting and management.

Please note

If you require further information please contact Sarah Bentley (Environmental Advice Manager):

Phone: 01785 276047

Email: sarah.bentley@staffordshire.gov.uk

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