Seascape Character Assessment for Suffolk, South Norfolk and North Essex
Suffolk, south Norfolk and north Essex benefit from having relatively comprehensive landscape character assessment coverage for terrestrial areas. This provides the level of baseline information necessary to plan for change in the future. Furthermore, some coastal areas of Suffolk have been assessed as part of the Touching the Tide Landscape Partnership Scheme and the estuarine waters of the Stour and Orwell are included in a landscape character assessment of the Shotley Peninsula and its hinterland.
By contrast, the only assessments undertaken for marine areas have focussed on historic and biodiversity character or assess and describe seascape character at the national scale of assessment. During pre-application discussions between Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the developers, Scottish Power Renewables regarding the proposed East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two offshore windfarms, it was noted that there was no published county scale seascape character assessment for the proposed study area for the Seascape and Landscape Visual Impact Assessment. Furthermore, no assessment was planned to be undertaken by the relevant local planning authorities in the foreseeable future.
It was agreed that it would be necessary to map and describe seascape character to an appropriate level of detail to provide a comprehensive description of the marine areas of Suffolk and south Norfolk to inform the project and assessment of effects of the proposed windfarms on seascape character. It was also noted that any assessment produced would have a wider application in informing planning, design and management decisions undertaken by the councils and other interested parties.
In response, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council commissioned this assessment of seascape character.
Phil Watson Nicholas Newton
Snr Landscape Officer Arboriculture and Landscape Manager
Suffolk County Council Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils