Project

Land at North Dorchester

Location

North Dorchester

Client

Turnberry

Services Used

The Pegasus Group Environment team is currently involved in the promotion of a large urban extension on the northern outskirts of Dorchester in Devon. Landscape architects at Pegasus Group have been working closely with urban designers and project managers at Turnberry responding to the landscape sensitivities of the site and addressing comments from Historic England and the Dorset AONB Partnership.

As part of the process a vision document was prepared, which combines the work of our previous Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) with an up to date assessment. This included the analysis of Dorchester’s landscape context, sequential views from the nearby Public Rights of Way, and those associated with the Dorset AONB. To illustrate the modest inter-visibility with the AONB we have prepared a Zone of Theoretical Visibility plan supported by a number of mass modelling wirelines to indicate the extent and height of the anticipated built form.

The work on the Study has evolved considerably in response to the comments from the Council, Historic England, and the Dorset AONB Partnership. The work expanded on the initial landscape and visual issues and incorporated a detailed commentary on the Historic Landscape Characterisation supported by LiDAR mapping.

The review of heritage assets in the locale has also included the issues of inter-visibility with the nearby historic parks and gardens, and perception of Hardy’s landscape. The concept of Hardy’s landscape can be broadly described as the landscape encompassing his birthplace, the villages of Higher Bockhampton and Lower Bockhampton but also the rural landscape around Dorchester and elsewhere, which inspired his work. It also includes the numerous features and locations that Hardy had alluded to in his works, some of which can still be traced around Dorchester. These features have been incorporated into the overall masterplan as part of a new country park associated with the valley of the River Frome, building upon this cultural landscape and improving public access across the surrounding landscape. The currently isolated areas would be connected by a network of new footpaths and cycle routes linking with a new visitor centre, and recreational areas whilst preserving the remnants of the management system associated with water meadows present within the valley.

The Study also provides a vision masterplan informed by the retained landscape features such as hedgerows and field pattern, and areas of ornamented pastures, to mitigate against the potential landscape character effects. The Green Infrastructure Strategy, which forms part of the Study, outlines the landscape benefits, pedestrian connectivity and amenity resources, and explains how the design and assessment responded to planning policies.

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