Last edited 07 Jan 2019

Landscape character area

MinHousing landscape.png

The term ‘landscape’ refers to an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors’ (ref European Landscape Convention).

Landscape Character Areas (sometimes described as Local Landscape Character Areas or Regional Landscape Character Areas), are areas of landscape that have a broadly consistent character, which might include:

  • pattern of topography
  • land use
  • vegetation cover
  • geology
  • cultural and ecological features
  • pattern of evolution
  • visual and perceptual qualities
  • habitats

A landscape character assessment (LCA) identifies and describes variations in the character of the landscape, explaining the combination of elements and features that make landscapes distinctive by mapping and describing character types and areas. LCAs can be used to inform planning policies, allocate land for development, assess planning applications and make environmental assessments.

National Character Area (NCA) profile documents explain how environmental evidence and information about places can be accessed and used. They divide England into 159 distinct natural areas defined by a unique combination of landscape, biodiversity, geodiversity, history, and cultural and economic activity. Their boundaries follow natural lines in the landscape rather than administrative boundaries.


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