Landscape Sensitivity Assessment

Evaluating the sensitivity of proposed development sites

This page explains how potential development sites and those sites offered under the ‘Call for Sites’ are evaluated to determine their sensitivity to housing development. This provides a means of measuring what impact new houses would have upon the landscape. 

Each site is evaluated using assessment criteria. The assessment criteria are those on which we consulted at our Open Days on 16th & 18th January 2016 and those within the District Council’s Core Strategy.

The SHLAA Sensitivity Map (i) from the SDC Core Strategy evidence base was rated second most important site assessment criterion at the January 2016 NP Open Day.

Click on map to enlarge

Because the SHLAA assessment was very ‘Broad Brush’ (it referred to large areas of landscape rather than individual fields) we decided we needed a more focused assessment for each potential development site.

We therefore commissioned Warwickshire Country Council Landscape Architects, recommended to us by SDC, to do focused assessments of each potential development site.

Focused Landscape Sensitivity Studies by Warwickshire County Council Landscape Architects

The surveys were conducted between March and September 2016 and focused on those sites which had been put forward in response to the Neighbourhood Plan’s 2016 “Call for Sites”. This was considered necessary because the evidence provided in the Core Strategy Evidence Base SHLAA 2012 was considered insufficiently focused because it considered large areas of land. Surveys which focused on individual fields were considered more appropriate evidence to inform our site assessment and selection process.

The studies changed the sensitivity rating of some sites, raising or lowering their sensitivity rating, and left some unchanged.


How the WCC Focused Landscape Studies changed the SHLAA sensitivity ratings of each site. (Extract from Appendix 22 page 8)

Click on image to enlarge





The three WCC Focused Landscape Study documents can be viewed here….

Upper and Lower Brailes Focused Landscape Study March 2016. (Site 1 pages 12-15; Site 2 pages 20-23; Site 4 pages 24-27)

Upper and Lower Brailes Landscape Study July 2016.  (Site A pages 8-12)

Upper and Lower Brailes Landscape Study September 2016  (Site 3 and Site B pages 8-11)

Summary of results of Studies


Evaluation process of submitted ‘Call for Sites’

The link below leads to the analysis spreadsheet that shows how we assessed the plots of land that were presented as a result of the call for sites for the Neighbourhood Development plan. The assessment criteria have been created and ranked using data from the Parish survey and previous consultation days.

Call for sites evaluation tool spreadsheet

(i) SHLAA = Strategic Housing Landscape Availability Assessment