Landscape Planning



Local Plans, the national foundation for all planning decisions remain founded on Hoskinian principles of the landscape they serve to curate.

They are designed ‘to protect the natural and built environment and conserve the particular character of the place’, that they are there to ‘ensure that all development is socially, environmentally, and aesthetically acceptable.’ Planning will be normally granted ‘is compatible in terms of type, scale, setting, design and materials with the existing character of the locality’.

As for the implications of this, let me use my own village, Upton in Nottinghamshire, as an example.

Upton village itself is nucleated, arranged essentially along a single street. With the exception of the former water and windmills there are very few outlying farms

The housing stock is predominantly eighteenth and nineteenth century, brick walls and pantile roofs, cogged eves and using range of sash and casement windows. The original houses were relatively small but have been extended over time, providing a jumble of roof lines and wall angles and heights, and set on relatively large plots.

Above images developed at the University of Nottingham

Beyond the village is a landscape of Parliamentary enclosure, small geometric fields surrounded by hawthorn hedges and alder standards, now supporting a mixed farming economy. Where there is pasture, some ridge-and-furrow, a memory of open-field farming survives.

Above images developed at the University of Nottingham

In other words, the visible and material landscape is to all intents and purposes little more than three hundred years old.

If we go back, say, five hundred years, then we suddenly discover an open rather than enclosed landscape, the village still nucleated, of course, surrounded by its three open fields. What happens if we go back a thousand years?

Above image developed at the University of Nottingham