Saltford South of the A4: SPC's Landscape and Heritage Sensitivity Assessment - Saltford Parish Council

At its meeting on 2nd July 2024, to support its request and also to highlight this area’s importance, SPC resolved to adopt the document titled ‘Landscape and Heritage Sensitivity Assessment of Saltford South of the A4‘.

This sensitivity assessment of Saltford South of the Bath Road (A4) looks at the:

  • landform,
  • openness and enclosure,
  • ‘natural’ character,
  • landscape pattern and time depth,
  • historic features,
  • settlement form and edge,
  • recreational value,
  • visual character, and
  • the setting of the Cotswolds National Landscape.

Please view the right-hand column on the document for SPC’s assessment according to the sensitivity categories of ‘Lower’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Higher’.

As can be seen, SPC has recognised all the sections listed at ‘Saltford South of the A4’ as being in the ‘Higher’ category. This classification as concluded by SPC is supported by information which succinctly explains why each of the sections have been assessed and awarded as ‘Higher’ by Saltford Parish Council.

‘Saltford South of the A4’ is indicated by the blue shaded area in the map above

As background to the production of this document, in January 2023 (Item 8.e) Saltford Parish Council first discussed the prospect of landscape protection designation in the area referred to by SPC originally as ‘Saltford South’ and later as ‘Saltford South of the A4’ (as indicated in blue in the map above, broadly the wooded and landscape area outside the housing boundary).

Since this time, Saltford Parish Council has sought an appropriate landscape protection designation (‘Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV)’ and/or ‘Local Green Space (LGS))’ from B&NES Council (the Local Planning Authority) for ‘Saltford South of the A4’ to be included in the context of the new B&NES Council Local Plan.

Achieving landscape designation at this location is a standing item on SPC’s agendas under ‘Planning Matters’.

The production of the ‘Landscape and Heritage Sensitivity Assessment of Saltford South of the A4‘ document as resolved at SPC’s July 2024 meeting demonstrates a further step taken by the Parish Council to engage with B&NES Council’s Senior Planning Policy Officers, specifically to further aid awareness of the significance – and sensitivities – of this area. SPC has welcomed the request from Saltford’s B&NES Ward Councillors to view the document. SPC may look to share its assessment more widely in the future, including its potential use should the Parish Council look to make representations to the Planning Inspector with regards to B&NES Council’s Local Plan.

Updates about SPC’s efforts to achieve landscape designation can be found in SPC’s minutes and in its website articles. Articles include information about SPC’s requests to B&NES Council made in January 2023 and January 2024, including papers submitted. Please view SPC agrees to seek landscape designation for ‘Saltford South’ (January 2023) and ‘SPC reaffirms to B&NES Council its request for ‘Saltford South’ designated landscape protection‘ (January 2024).

At Saltford Parish Council’s March 2024 meeting, the Council resolved to adopt as a planning policy document its paper titled ‘The Saltford Area of Great Landscape Value – Planning Policy and Character Appraisal by Saltford Parish Council’. This new paper serves as a reference document for SPC planning policy purposes, specifically in relation to future proposal responses that may affect or seek to develop Saltford’s Green Belt landscape area. Saltford Parish Council – in describing Saltford’s landscape setting as ‘The Saltford Area of Great Landscape Value’ – aims to provide information and data that offers planners and developers a greater insight of this landscape’s high quality and value to the community.

As a stand alone document but also to complement the ‘The Saltford Area of Great Landscape Value’ paper, at its March meeting SPC also resolved to adopt as a SPC document ‘The Saltford Area of Great Landscape Value – A Photographic Record’. This collection of photographs provides a snapshot of the rural countryside setting that the Green Belt surrounding Saltford’s housing boundary provides.

SPC’s Planning Policy Working Group continue to work towards achieving landscape designation at Saltford South of the A4, with recommendations made by the working group discussed and resolved at full council meetings. Any updates regarding SPC’s request for landscape protection designation at Saltford South of the A4 will be shared via SPC’s minutes. For minutes as well as meeting dates and agendas, please view SPC’s noticeboard or our ‘Meetings – Agendas and Minutes‘ page.

Image shows crops growing near the highest point in Saltford along with far reaching views, in a field located close to the top of Longwood Lane. Photo taken during SPC’s Parish Walk 2024, which explored some of the history and nature of ‘Saltford South of the A4’.

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