Collecting LVIA data in England – landscape relevant designations

There are many sources of data that landscape architects have to collect as a starting point in the landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA) process.

To make it easier, I sub-divide the data collection into three main strands that help to inform the LVIA. These include:

  1. Visual amenity receptors
  2. Landscape relevant designations
  3. Landscape character

This is the second of three short blogs outlining the sources of data that I use to inform a LVIA.

Landscape relevant designations

The starting point for collecting information on landscape relevant designations is the government information website Magic ( ). This is a good source of data for ‘national’ landscape relevant designations including National Parks, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), World Heritage Sites, Registered Parks and Gardens, Registered Battlefields, Ancient Woodlands and National Trust properties.

Clicking on the ‘information’ button often takes you through to more detailed information on the relevant designation.

Searching for the relevant National Trust property (through the National Trust website) or the ‘name’ of the relevant designation (for example the registered park and garden) will also throw up information in a general internet search.

With all the changes to the local planning system, each local authority is different on how they illustrate and describe their relevant designations. It may be that their local plans still apply, or a search through their Unitary Development Plan (UDP) and the numerous associated documents, such as within the Local Development Framework (LDF) may be required.

Local plans, or their equivalent, are a good source of information for locally relevant designations such as Areas of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) or Special Landscape Areas (SLA) and Conservation Areas, as well as the policies associated with them.

I am sure that others have different sources of data that they refer too – have I missed anything?