This was an extensive project, covering the entirety of an existing deer farm in the countryside east of the town of Petersfield, located within the South Downs National Park. The applicants had been running a commercial deer farm at the site since 2016 but wanted to open up the farm to visiting members of the public, with the proposal also including the creation of a farm shop and café, as well as an education centre.
Due to the extent of the proposals, coupled with the highly sensitive landscape in which they were located, WHLandscape were required to undertake an LVIA with a focus on the role of the National Parks. The majority of the proposed development was concentrated around the existing farmstead, however the prevision of public access across the deer farm meant that the potential effects on the farm’s established character were a key consideration in respect of the assessment work undertaken.
WHLandscape successfully argued that not only would the scheme have little effect on the landscape character of the area but it would also support the second statutory purpose of the National Park to “promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of National Parks by the public” without being contrary to the first purpose to “conserve and enhance natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.”
The South Downs National Park Authority unanimously approved the scheme in early 2019, with no issues or objection being raised on landscape and visual grounds. It was noted that overall the scheme was very good and had been well presented, with the wider benefits of the development being recognised.
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