The celebrated landscape of Cumbria and North Lancashire is subject to greatly increased pressure to accommodate significant levels of energy and communications related vertical infrastructure (“VI”) – most notably wind energy development and the biggest project the National Grid have undertaken in 40 years: the North West Coast Connections (NWCC) project, to connect a new nuclear power station.

The purpose of the study was to consider the cumulative impact of VI development holistically and to establish the current levels of impact being experienced across the area, in order to inform decision making on future development proposals. It was to build upon existing local landscape character guidance for the landscape baseline and to follow industry standard best practice approaches, providing guidance for planning officers on applying the assessment in practice, when considering proposals for vertical infrastructure and the need to conserve these special landscapes.

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