The landscapes of Aberdeenshire are an important and diverse resource with great fundamental environmental, social and economic value. These landscapes in both rural and urban locations are vulnerable assets which are facing mounting pressures for change. Given the fundamental role landscape plays in underpinning the quality of peoples? lives it is essential that landscape change is carefully planned to conserve the valued characteristics of all Aberdeenshire landscapes.
Appropriate land use, the promotion of quality landscape design and the conservation of valued landscapes at national and local level are objectives of national planning policy and the Aberdeenshire Council Local Development Plan (ALDP). These objectives are a function of the Aberdeenshire Council Environment Team.
The Environment Team provides consultations to Development Management on development proposals with significant implications for the landscape, assists with the production of landscape related policy, assists with landscape capacity for development studies around towns, works on improvement strategies for open space networks for Aberdeenshire settlements, and develops specific landscape related projects.
Input to the Development Management process relates to types of development which have significant implications for landscape and typically require an Environmental Impact Assessment. These types of development can range from residential to commercial proposals, and include high profile industries such as wind energy.
Policy work includes adapting Scottish Government initiatives such as planning for open space, and adapting them to create strategies for specific Aberdeenshire Settlements. Landscape design guidance has been formulated for ALP and the landscape capacity around a number of Aberdeenshire towns appraised to contribute to identifying future development land.
The European Landscape Convention is also recognised with its aims of promoting landscape protection, management and planning.