ASH was commissioned to undertake masterplanning and landscape and visual impact assessment of a proposed new housing development
Site options appraisal
Landscape and visual assessment
What we did
ASH was appointed to carry out a sketch masterplan/ visualisation and landscape and visual impact assessment of a potential housing site on the edge of Kilmaurs, a village located three miles to the north west of Kilmarnock in east Ayrshire. The aim was to provide evidence to support the argument at the Local Plan Review that the site should be added into the local plan as a housing allocation in order to permit the development to take place.
The assessment findings indicated that during construction significant, albeit localised, adverse impacts would be experienced by this part of the Ayrshire Lowland Landscape Character Area as a result of the proposed development. Progressively, however, the proposed mitigation planting would reduce landscape impact on this low sensitivity landscape in the longer term. In addition, the location of the Kilmaurs site, within the boundary of Standalane and the railway line, was considered to be more likely to consolidate the impression of a compact, contained village without sprawling outskirts. The landscape planting was considered therefore be a positive contribution in both defining and softening the urban edge of Kilmaurs at this location, a quality lacking in the current context.
In the event, the Local Plan Review Reporter, whist acknowledging, along with the Planning Department, that “…the site is a logical extension to Kilmaurs, has established defensible boundaries, and that a housing development there would be acceptable in landscape and visual terms” it was nevertheless seen as being less sustainable than another competing site on account of its distance from the railway station, and on these grounds alone, Mactaggart and Mickels' objection was overruled and the development was not taken forward.
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