State of the Park

Talyllyn, Snowdonia

alt=View from Snowdon Summit

Landscape Sensitivity and Capacity Assessment

This study was commissioned by Gwynedd Council, the Isle of Anglesey County Council and the Snowdonia National Park Authority It was intended to provide a robust evidence base for determining planning applications, informing the development of Supplementary Planning Guidance, helping to protect sensitive and distinctive landscapes from inappropriate development and encouraging a positive approach to development in the right location and at an appropriate scale. The study specifically considered the following five development types as well as also briefly touching on hydro energy developments.

  • Wind Energy (focussing on smaller scale developments)
  • Field-Scale Solar PV Energy (not considered in SNPA)
  • A 400 kV Overhead Line (Electricity Transmission Infrastructure)(not considered in SNPA)
  • Mobile Masts (Telecommunications Infrastructure)
  • Static Caravan/Chalet Parks and Extensions (Tourism)

The acceptability of large scale development in the rural landscape is an emotive subject and one where compromise is often needed. Whilst it is generally acknowledged that the most valued landscapes should be protected, there are some areas where development can be accommodated, albeit in a controlled way to minimise adverse effects. This study aimed to understand where and how best to accommodate the different types of development identified in the brief.

It is important to note that this is a strategic study and is not prescriptive at an individual site level. It does not replace the need for assessment of individual planning applications or for specific local landscape and visual impact assessment as part of formal Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The assessment does not take account of other natural and cultural heritage considerations (except where they relate to landscape character and visual considerations), technical factors or the perceived need for the development.

The Landscape Sensitivity and Capacity Assessment can be found in the following link, which takes you to the SNPA's Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) notes page. It's listed as SPG 13: