A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) has been prepared.
The site lies immediately to the north of Ashton Road, comprising an area of horse grazing between the residential properties of The Rockeries and Ashton House, to the east, and Sunnyside, which is a care home development, to the west. The northern boundary comprises a mature native hedgerow with scattered trees, which separates the site from the arable landscape to the north. A line of Lawsons Cypresses defines the southern boundary, although there is some intervisibility between the streetscene and the site, beneath the canopies. The existing settlement edge, created by properties on Swyncombe Green and Blacksmiths Way lie immediately to the south of the site. The village centre lies to the east of the site, with the Post Office located approximately 450m to the east of the site, along Ashton Road.
The site is not publicly accessible. A footway runs along part of the southern boundary, adjacent to the northern side of Ashton Road, while a second footway runs along the southern side of the road, providing access to the residential estates immediately to the south, the village centre and the bus stops, just to the east.
The site is not subject to any national or local qualitative landscape designations.
In terms of landscape character, the site is located within the ‘Yardley – Whittlewood Ridge’ National Character Area, as identified within the Natural England regional assessment. At a more local level, the Current Landscape Character Assessment for Northamptonshire shows that the site is located within the ‘Tove Catchment’ landscape character area (LCA) of the wider ‘Undulating Claylands’ landscape character type. The published assessments identify a number of key characteristics, local distinctiveness, landscape condition and landscape change and these have informed both the emerging layout and the LVIA.
The proposals seek to retain key landscape features such as the native boundary hedgerows as well as introducing new landscaping that will not only assist in integrating the proposed built form but will also contribute positively to the landscape setting of, and approaches to, Hartwell. Areas of public open space will form a buffer between the proposed built form and the wider landscape setting and represent a positive addition, providing additional opportunities for informal recreation. Where the proposals are visible they will be seen within the context of the existing settlement edge of Hartwell to the south which is characterised by a mix of 20th Century residential development.
It is considered that the proposals can be integrated in this location without significant adverse effects upon the receiving landscape character or visual environment.
See below for the Landscape views around the proposed site.