CEC was commissioned by Eco-Bos in 2010 to carry out a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, ES chapter and Tree Survey (in co-operation with Evolve Tree Consultancy) of a proposed Eco-Community development to accompany a hybrid planning application. A wide range of ecological surveys and assessments was also carried out.
The West Carclaze and Baal site is located approximately 2.25km from St Austell town centre, and near the Eden Project, covering the former Penhale, Great Treverbyn, Baal and Pentruff clay pits operated by Imerys. It is a brownfield ‘derelict’ landscape with a unique character defined by its recent industrial history with deep steeply terraced pits, towering mica dam and conical tips, varying according to the timescale since operations ceased and the extent of restoration.
Proposals were for around 2000 sustainable dwellings, realignment of the A390, transport interchange and integrated circulation network favouring footpaths, cycleways and bridlepaths, town centre, community hubs, primary school, sports pitches, allotments, formal and informal public open space, large scale water bodies and habitat restoration / creation. Due to the scale and nature of the development the planning application was submitted as a hybrid of detailed for the first phase with outline for the remainder of the site.
CEC carried out a LVIA which required detailed fieldwork to establish site character areas and understand their relationship to the wider area, and identify sensitive visual receptors to objectively determine the likely effect of the proposals. The nature of the site required review of standard LVIA methodology to ensure that its value as an open space and distinct character was adequately considered. The size of the site and large areas of higher ground that were not proposed for development also required review of ZTV production methodology to ensure that models accurately reflected the likely visual extents of the proposals. To further inform the LVIA a series of verified view montages were produced with input from a specialist sub-consultant from a selection of viewpoints chosen in consultation with Cornwall Council’s Landscape Officer.
CEC’s expertise in LVIA enabled a comprehensive and realistic assessment of the likely effects of the proposals on a complicated industrial site in a semi-rural location. The work was delivered to a very tight timescale which enabled planning submission to required deadlines to meet funding criteria.