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Special Landscape Qualities effects assessment (SLQ) – Consultation

This Guidance on the Assessment of Effects on Special Landscape Qualities (AESLQ) has been prepared by NatureScot, the Cairngorm National Park Authority (CNPA) and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority (LLTNPA).

It applies to Special Landscape Qualities (SLQ) identified for designated National Scenic Areas (NSA) and National Parks in Scotland.

These are highly valued areas that represent the country’s finest landscapes, and the importance of their SLQ is reflected in national policy.

The Assessment of effects on ‘special qualities’ or ‘special landscape qualities’ (from this point, referred to as SLQ) is carried out where a proposal is within or would affect an NSA or National Park in Scotland.

This guidance has been prepared to assist people in three key ways:

  • by describing the sequence of steps to follow when carrying out an AESLQ;
  • by demonstrating how the SLQs can be used to influence the siting and design of a proposal;
  • and by explaining why and how this information is required to inform judgements on effects in relation to planning and land use policies, ensuring transparency.

National policy strongly supports a design-led approach to managing change in our landscape. Incorporating development or land use proposals sympathetic to designated landscapes requires careful thought and a strong commitment to achieving high-quality design from the outset.

AESLQ provides a structure to achieve this.

We are seeking views on this guidance, particularly around its usability, the depth of information, and the ease of use.

The consultation documents are in two formats to allow full consideration of the draft AESLQ Guidance.

Visit the NatureScot online platform where there is a screenreader version to view. Alternatively, view the Guidance for assessment PDF which contains the same written guidance, but is presented in full, with figures, signposting, paragraph number and template. Comments on the full guidance contained in this PDF are encouraged.

The consultation survey will be open from 30th May to 6th July 2024. 

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