LINI commends the approach of the NLS that the landscape character assessment (LCA) process is a continuous process, rather than one which can be completed as a frozen presentation of landscape type and value. This must be stated in High Level Objective 3. Whilst Northern Ireland completed its landscape character assessment in 2000, it has not been updated since. In England, LCAs are continuously reviewed by the local authorities. Ireland’s LCAs should be updated continuously on an all-island and cross-administrative boundary basis. The LCA process should be one which leads to an understanding of landscape ‘value’. The process of landscape planning advocated by the ELC means that by addressing the value of landscape, all other matters are addressed as a result. As such, the LCA process can become the basis for all decisions relating to planning and governance processes. This does not just apply to ‘the countryside’, but to all places: urban, rural and peri-urban, countryside and seascape.The ELC advocates a ‘landscape planning process’, and LINI requests that the current tendancy towards land-use planning is seriously reconsidered to align with ELC requirements. LINI commends the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 for its mandatory objective for landscape policies in local development plans, but advises that for these to be meaningful, it is essential that there is consistency as to the use of the term landscape. These objectives must refer to all aspects of landscape (rural, urban, peri-urban, seascape, of good quality, ordinary and degraded condition), as more than likely most local authorities consider this to be an objective for countryside of high quality. Consistency in the NLS is essential: some professionals prefer the term ‘place’ to landscape. However, LINI advises that often place is understood as a spatial consideration, rather than being inclusive of the time and ecology aspects of landscape under the ELC landscape definition. LINI advises that the term ‘landscape’ should be used throughout, with a clear definition relating to ‘place’ given at the outset of the document.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Nov 2011|