The Forest of Dean has a rich and varied natural environment, which helps to define the essential landscape character of the local area, and contributes to its biological diversity. The District Council wish to encourage high quality development, which makes a positive contribution to the protection and enhancement of the local environment, through the consideration of landscape and biodiversity issues. It is therefore important that these issues are recognised as essential parts of a planning application from an early stage in the planning process.
The District Council aims to ensure that our landscapes and the wildlife they contain, are protected and enhanced appropriately, in order to follow national planning guidance and local planning policies, whilst also meeting the needs of development (see The Forest of Dean District Council Local Plan and the Local Development Framework). Guidance on wider landscape issues and landscape character assessment are available in the Landscape Supplementary Planning document .
In order to help planning applicants take these important issues into consideration when producing their application, the Council has produced a series of advice notes. The purpose of these advice notes is to provide information on how these issues can be incorporated into a development, and to explain what information needs to be provided within a planning application. The series of advice notes include the following titles:
· Notes on Tree Planting Specifications for Planning Applications
· Notes on Hedgerow Planting Specifications for Planning Applications
· Notes on Landscape and Biodiversity Considerations for Small Scale Planning Applications
Under the hedgerow regulations 1997, protect hedgerows in the countryside. Landowners are required to seek permission from the council to remove hedgerows. The regulations cover hedgerows that are on, or run alongside agricultural land, common land, village greens, nature reserves and land used for forestry or the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys. The regulations do not cover hedgerows in or bordering gardens.