Type 9 Rolling Open Farmland - 9. ROLLING OPEN FARMLAND by dfsiopmhy6

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									9. ROLLING OPEN FARMLAND
 9. ROLLING OPEN FARMLAND




Long views over large areas of regular, geometric, arable   Sheep graze the pastures close to the course of rivers. A    Large Scots pine shelterbelts form strong linear points of
fields.                                                     field margin is flanked by remnant Scot’s pine hedgerow.     focus in the landscape.




Clipped hawthorn hedges and hedgerow trees are              Pylons and posts carrying overhead wires are frequently in   The linear settlement of North Creake typifies the use of
repeated across the landscape.                              view.                                                        red brick, flint and render.
9.       ROLLING OPEN FARMLAND

Location and Boundaries
The landscape type defined as Rolling Open Farmland occurs within the north of the study area, largely falling inside the administrative
boundary of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk District. The Rolling Open farmland gives way to landscape type 10: Plateau Farmland,
predominantly occurring above the 60m contour which marks the transition to this flatter and more elevated landscape. The Rolling Open
Farmland is bound along its northern edge by landscape type 3: Coastal Slopes, to the west by type 6: Wooded Slopes with Estate Land, to the
south east by type 11: Settled Tributary Farmland and to the south west by landscape type 7: Farmland with Woodland and Wetland.

Key Characteristics
•    A medium to large scale landscape with an overriding sense of openness, wide open skies, medium to large field units, and the presence of large features such as linear
     Scots pine shelterbelts.
•    Shallow river valleys and dry tributary valleys cut through the Middle and Upper Chalk geology to give rise to a gently rolling landform.
•    Dominated by intensive arable crop production contained within a network of regular shaped fields that form a strong geometric landscape pattern.
•    Dramatic linear shelterbelts of Scots pine are visible from long range - looming over the horizontal plane and forming distinct focal points.
•    Hawthorn hedgerows demarcate field boundaries and align rural roads. These exaggerate the strong landscape lines and provide focussed channelled views. Hedgerow
     trees, predominantly oak and beech, are often clothed in ivy.
•    Dispersed low density settlement comprising isolated farmsteads, rural hamlets and villages. The latter generally occur at road crossings and take a linear or bilinear form.
     They generally appear contained rather than sprawling due to their small size and scale. Churches are a key symbolic feature of settlements although sometimes detached from the
     main settlement hub.
•    A prominent skyline, often uninterrupted and smooth - the strong horizon line giving way to wide open skies. The skyline is also characterised in places by the silhouettes of
     Scots pine shelterbelts, hedgerow trees and the presence of pylons, posts and communication masts.
•    Churches associated with settlements are often located on discrete knolls, their towers and spires acting as distinct focal points. Windmills similarly act as points of focus,
     and are interesting landmark features. There are two water towers on the edge of Hunstanton at Redgate Hill. Settlements are generally discrete.
•    Although there is an overriding sense of openness, views into other landscape types are restricted due to the rolling landform and the elevated plateaux which often limit views.
•    The network of rural roads and lanes is the most obvious source of movement (these are often very straight and flanked by wide grass verges) but overall movement is minimal and
     the landscape feels very still.
•    Due to its largely unsettled character and extensive areas of undeveloped land, the landscape often feels remote and peaceful.



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                                                                                 become partially sunken, moving into the shallow river valleys.
Landscape Character
                                                                                 Where hedges are broken or gappy views become both
The Rolling Open Farmland landscape type is a transitional landscape             intermittent and distant.
occurring between the more elevated Plateau Farmland and the
slopes, both north and east, leading to the coast. Past and present              The hedges are often flanked or interspersed by hedgerow trees –
hydrological processes have cut river valleys (both wet and dry)                 typically oak or beech clothed in ivy. These are strong vertical
through the underlying solid geology of Middle and Upper chalk.                  features.
The solid chalk defines the surface geology of much of the western
half of the landscape but further east, drift deposits dominate. This            Large linear shelterbelts of Scots Pine (sometimes mixed with
is apparent where fields have been cultivated and the soil is                    beech) are the most dramatic landscape features – bringing strong
peppered with gravels. Drift deposits are also associated with the               vertical contrast. Their looming presence also appears to increase
River Valleys – the Rivers Burn and Heacham for example are                      the scale of the landscape. Windmills, church towers and spires
defined by linear strips of sand and gravel, silty clays and shell marl.         are also important focal points. Other vertical elements are
                                                                                 pylons, communication masts and posts carrying overhead wires
The elevation of this landscape roughly ranges between 20m AOD                   and two water towers on the edge of Hunstanton at Redgate Hill.
and 60m AOD although there are areas that exceed this range.                     These somewhat disrupt the distinct land cover patterning by
The 60m contour line often marks the transition to the adjacent                  slicing diagonally across field units.
landscape type defined as Plateau Farmland. The change to this
landscape type is subtle but there is a heightened sense of                      Some areas of pasture also occur, generally grazed by sheep.
elevation, and the landform becomes flatter. Views into the                      Pasture is increasingly common close to the river valleys and on
plateaux landscape are in general restricted to the plateaux edge.               the edges of settlements but is not an overt characteristic of the
                                                                                 landscape. Pig farming is more common with sizeable fields units
Intensive arable production is the dominant land use and the                     given over to free range rearing.
landscape is characterised by continuous tracts of medium to large
geometric field units. The open, arable fields are interrupted by                Enclosure of the landscape varies from semi-enclosed to open
the repetition of a number of key landscape features. Hawthorn                   changing with localised variations in landform and with the
hedgerows for example, of varying heights, condition and density,                presence/absence of vertical elements. The pace of the landscape
define the majority of field margins. Often cut into tall and narrow             is generally slow and combined with the simple land cover evokes
blocks, these hedgerows exaggerate the strong geometric field                    a tranquil character. There is an overriding sense of unity due to
pattern. The hedges also impart a distinct sense of enclosure                    the simplicity of the land use and the regular and consistent
particularly along the often straight rural roads where views                    occurrence of key elements such as the hawthorn hedgerows,
become channelled. This is particularly evident where lanes                      Scots pine shelterbelts and remnant Scots pine hedges.


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 The River Nar SSSI is located in the south of the landscape – its
 varied physical features and the influence of an underlying chalk
 geology give rise to rich and diverse flora.
 This landscape is sparsely settled comprising isolated farmsteads,
 hamlets and villages (usually of a linear/bilinear form) some with
 village greens. Red brick, cobbles and render are the most
 common building materials.




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Sensitivity to Wind Turbine Development
The following table considers the key characteristics of the landscape type (taken from ‘Key Characteristics’ section of this chapter). The
sensitivity of each characteristic of the landscape has been considered (independently) in relation to the four different scales of turbine
development – single, small, medium and large scale. Considering each element in its own right, allows a comprehensive assessment and
provides a holistic understanding of the landscape’s capacity to accommodate each of the different turbine forms.
It is the combination of key characteristics that should be considered in forming a judgement about capacity for wind energy development. The
guidance contained in any single row of the table, should therefore not be considered in isolation.

                                                                                                     Small Scale                 Medium Scale                 Large Scale
Key Characteristics of the landscape                                       Single Turbine
                                                                                                     Group                       Group                        Group
Scale and Enclosure                                                        Low                       Low                         Low                          Low
A medium to large scale landscape with an overriding sense of              A single turbine would    A small scale turbine       A medium sized               As with a medium
openness, wide open skies, medium to large field units, and the            not dominate as it        development would not       development would be         scale development, a
presence of large features such as linear Scots pine shelterbelts.         would only occupy a       intimidate the landscape    in balance with the          large development
The landscape becomes increasingly enclosed where there is localised       small amount of the       scale – occupying only a    overall medium - large       would be in balance
landform variation, the presence of hedgerows, shelterbelts and            zone of visibility.       small area of the visual    scale of the landscape.      with the overall
hedgerow trees.                                                                                      zone.                                                    medium - large scale
                                                                                                                                                              of the landscape.
Landform and Topography                                                    Low                       Low                         High                         High
Shallow river valleys and dry tributary valleys cut through the Middle     The simplicity of the     As with a single turbine,   Landform variation is        Landform variation is
and Upper chalk geology to give rise to a gently rolling landform with     landform means that a     the simple landform         subtle but a medium          subtle but a large scale
a general elevation range of 20m AOD to 60m AOD,                           single turbine would      would be able to            scale development            development would
                                                                           occur as a strong         accommodate a small         would be hard to read        be hard to read – with
                                                                           visual contrast to the    scale development           – with turbines              turbines appearing to
                                                                           horizontal plane acting   however it would be         appearing to be of           be of varied height
                                                                           as a sculptural image     best suited to the same     varied height due to         due to the changing
                                                                           and corresponding         contour line as crossing    the changing (rolling)       (rolling) landform. As
                                                                           with the presence of      contours would make it      landform. The edges          with a medium scale
                                                                           other individual          difficult to read.          or extents of a large        development, the
                                                                           vertical elements such                                development may not          edges or extents of a
                                                                           as churches and                                       always be visible and        large development
                                                                           windmills.                                            this could lead to visual    may not always be
                                                                                                                                 confusion.                   visible and this could
                                                                                                                                                              lead to visual


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                                                                                                     Small Scale                  Medium Scale                Large Scale
Key Characteristics of the landscape                                       Single Turbine
                                                                                                     Group                        Group                       Group
                                                                                                                                                              confusion.
Land Cover Pattern                                                         Low                       Low                          Low                         Low
Dominated by intensive arable crop production contained within a           The regularity of         The many linear              As with small scale         The regular geometric
network of regular shaped fields that form a strong geometric              arable fields and the     elements provide             development the             field pattern could
landscape pattern.                                                         presence of               opportunities for turbine    repetition of linear        accommodate the
Dramatic linear shelterbelts of Scots pine are visible from long range -   hedgerows provide         development to               elements provides           formal arrangement of
looming over the horizontal plane and forming distinct focal points. A     strong nodes or           correspond or mirror         opportunities for           a large scale
strong geometric landscape pattern.                                        junctions making single   this arrangement.            turbine development to      development –
Hawthorn hedgerows demarcate field boundaries and align rural              turbine development                                    correspond or mirror        evoking the order and
roads. These exaggerate the strong landscape lines and provide             appropriate to these                                   this strong visual          repetition of intensive
focussed channelled views.                                                 fixed ‘points’ in the                                  arrangement.                crop production.
                                                                           landscape.
Settlement                                                                 Low                       Low                          Moderate                    High
Dispersed low density settlement comprising isolated farmsteads,           Single turbines can be    This size of turbine         Settlements typically       Settlements typically
rural hamlets and villages. Hamlets and villages generally occur at        positioned to appear      group would be out of        occur on higher ground      occur on higher
road crossings and take a linear or bilinear form. They appear             attached to individual    scale with the small         providing extensive         ground providing
contained rather than sprawling due to their small size and scale.         buildings - evoking a     settlements. However,        views out across the        extensive views out
Churches are a key symbolic feature of settlements although                functional image.         there are sufficient areas   landscape. A medium         across the landscape.
sometimes slightly detached from the settlement itself.                                              of land away from            scale turbine               A large scale turbine
                                                                                                     settlements where            development is likely to    development would
                                                                                                     turbine siting would not     appear out of character     therefore be out of
                                                                                                     impact upon settlement.      with the small scale        character with
                                                                                                                                  nature of existing          settlement scale.
                                                                                                                                  settlement.




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                                                                                                    Small Scale                 Medium Scale                  Large Scale
Key Characteristics of the landscape                                       Single Turbine
                                                                                                    Group                       Group                         Group
Skyline                                                                    Low                      Low                         Low                           Low
A prominent skyline, often uninterrupted and smooth - the strong           A single turbine would   A small group if spaced     if spaced regularly a         Due to the open
horizon line giving way to wide open skies.                                correspond with the      regularly could             medium scale group            nature of the
The skyline is also characterised in places by the silhouettes of Scots    presence of existing     correspond well with        could correspond well         landscape it would be
pine shelterbelts, hedgerow trees and the presence of pylons, posts,       single vertical          the linear arrangement      with the linear               hard to judge the size
communication masts and other single structures such as churches           elements in the          of the Scots pine           arrangement of the            of a large scale
and windmills.                                                             landscape such as        shelterbelts that are       Scots pine shelterbelts.      development on the
                                                                           churches. There is       strong skyline features.    There is however              skyline. There is
                                                                           however scope for        There is however scope      scope for confusion of        however scope for
                                                                           confusion of form and    for confusion of form       form and function due         confusion of form and
                                                                           function due to the      and function due to the     to the presence of            function due to the
                                                                           presence of pylons.      presence of pylons.         pylons.                       presence of pylons.
Landmarks and Visible Built Structures                                     Low                      Moderate                    High                          High
Churches associated with settlements are often located on discrete         Individual built         A small focussed group      There are no large            There are no large
knolls, their towers and spires acting as distinct focal points.           structures such as       could respond to            groups of built               groups of built
Windmills similarly act as points of focus, and are interesting landmark   churches and             existing landmark           structures within the         structures within the
features.                                                                  windmills provide the    features however these      landscape to which a          landscape to which a
Dramatic linear shelterbelts of Scots pine are visible from long range -   opportunity for          tend to be individual       medium scale                  large scale
looming over the horizontal plane and forming distinct focal points.       turbines to              structures (such as         development could             development could
Hawthorn hedgerows provide focussed channelled views along                 correspond with their    windmills).                 relate.                       relate.
straight rural roads.                                                      location and symbolic
                                                                           image in the
                                                                           landscape.
Views and Connections with Adjacent Landscapes                             Low                      Low                         Moderate                      Moderate
Views into this landscape can be gained from the edge of the Plateau       Adjacent landscapes      Adjacent landscapes         Some of the adjacent          Some of the adjacent
Farmland landscape type. The plateau edge forms the ‘skyline’ view         have a low sensitivity   have a low sensitivity to   landscape types are           landscapes types are
from within this landscape.                                                to this scale of         this scale of turbine       sensitive to this scale of    sensitive to this scale
Broken views into this landscape are possible from the other               turbine.                 group.                      turbine group but views       of turbine group but
neighbouring landscape types.                                                                                                   are limited.                  views limited.




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                                                                                                    Small Scale                Medium Scale               Large Scale
Key Characteristics of the landscape                                       Single Turbine
                                                                                                    Group                      Group                      Group
Remoteness and Tranquillity                                                Low                      Moderate                   High                       High
The largely unsettled character and extensive areas of undeveloped         A single turbine         A collection of turbines   This number of             A large turbine
land, means the landscape feels predominantly remote and peaceful.         development would        is likely to change the    turbines is more likely    development is most
The network of rural roads and lanes is the most obvious source of         be unlikely to disturb   perception of human        to impact or change the    likely to impact upon
movement (these are often very straight and flanked by wide grass          overall sense of         influence in the           sense of remoteness as     the sense of
verges) but overall movement is minimal and the landscape feels very       remoteness.              landscape and thus         it will increase           remoteness due to
still.                                                                                              reduce the sense of        awareness of human         the obvious presence
The sails of windmills within the landscape are a subtle movement                                   remoteness.                influence/presence in      of human elements in
source.                                                                                                                        the landscape.             the landscape.



Landscape Values

The River Nar SSSI located in the south of the landscape.




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Capacity for Wind Turbine Development
Single Turbine
Capacity
This landscape type has a high capacity to accommodate a single turbine development.
The simple landform - gently undulating - provides open and extensive views. Single vertical elements are a feature of these open views.
Village churches and lone windmills, for example, are eye catching elements making a positive contribution - adding to rather than detracting
from overall character. The presence of these vertical elements increases the scope for single turbines to appear balanced in the landscape.
However there is also a risk that too many vertical elements of varied form and function can lead to a visually confusing landscape scene. The
occurrence of pylons and posts for example and the relationship of turbines to them would need to be considered carefully.
Although there are a number of vertical elements in the landscape, there are often views which are devoid of any obvious landmarks or strong
vertical elements. The introduction of a single turbine(s) can thus provide a point of focus – to draw the eye and bring positive definition or
punctuation to the landscape. Single turbine development is unlikely to intimidate or dominate within the landscape due to the expansive
nature of views and the overall sense of scale. However, there are some extensive remote and empty areas of this landscape, where
development would be unsuitable.
Guidance on Form and Siting
Although simple, this landscape type has very strong land cover pattern and it is important that the location of single turbines responds and
enhances this pattern rather than diluting it or bringing confusion. With regard to siting within this landscape type, it is recommended that a
single turbine:

•         Be located on its own within this landscape evoking a sculptural image.

•         Mirror or compare visually with the symbolism of the freestanding churches and windmills however it should not compromise their perceived
          value.

•         Relate to individual buildings (agricultural buildings or farms for example) within the landscape can provide a functional image and enhance the
          point of focus.


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•         Relate to the geometric pattern of the fields – sited for example at junctions where two or more field boundaries meet to enhance or add
          definition to these existing landscape nodes.

•         Connect or link to linear elements so that they appear as a continuation of these edge or boundary features - a hedgerow or Scots pine
          shelterbelt for example.

•         Form a focal point at the end of channelled views such as those gained from the many straight rural roads.

•         Avoid locations with existing vertical features that contrast in form. The siting of turbines with pylons for example can result in a confusion of
          elements and lead to visual clutter.

•         Avoid ‘empty’ remote areas of the landscape where development is entirely absent and there are few metalled roads or dwellings.
Cumulative Development
There is scope for the landscape to accommodate a number of single turbines but their location and relationship is of paramount importance
to ensure they respond to one another as well as to overall landscape character. Single turbines within this landscape type will act as points of
focus. However, where more than one turbine falls within the same view, the role as a point of focus or landmark can be diluted. The pattern
of landscape elements should act as a clear, visible framework to which a consistent and coherent approach to the siting and spacing of single
turbines is applied so that where they do occur within the same view they appear ordered, are clearly understood in the landscape and
contribute positively to overall character.
Small Scale Group
Capacity
This landscape type has a high capacity to accommodate small scale turbine development.
Although more obvious than a single turbine, the open character of the landscape means that a small scale group of turbines would not
dominate views and could thus respond well to the landscape. There are a number of features within the landscape to which a small scale
development could relate. In particular, the strong linear arrangement of elements that lends itself to inform the potential siting and
arrangement of a small scale group. The presence of shelterbelts, straight rural roads and strong hedgerow network provide visual cues to
infer turbine design arrangement.


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The simple visual composition of the different landscape characteristics must be recognised in order to ensure a small group is integrated into
the landscape in the most appropriate way by connecting strong vertical character with the horizontal plane.
Guidance on Form and Siting
With regard to the siting and form, a small scale group could:

•         Relate to a single line or repetitive linear arrangement to complement and respond to the existing linear pattern defining the landscape i.e. Scots
          pine shelterbelt, straight rural roads and hawthorn hedgerow network.

•         Be located along contour lines as opposed to across them. The latter can result in varied turbine height due to the change in relief and this can
          reduce readability.

•         Mirror the simplicity and regularity of the land cover pattern by regularly spacing turbines – consistent and repetitive spacing will make a
          development more coherent and aid its integration with the horizontal plane.

•         Avoid ‘empty’ remote areas of the landscape where development is entirely absent and there are few metalled roads or dwellings.
A grid like or cluster arrangement is less likely to read well within this landscape - the varying heights of turbines over undulating ground
having the potential to confuse the simplicity of the skyline.
Cumulative Development
The strong land cover and land use pattern provides scope for development of more than one small scale group within this landscape. In
particular the repetition of key characteristics of the landscape provide the visual cues to which linear arrangements can relate. It is essential
that the type of turbine used, the spacing of the turbines and their composition is consistent. An inconsistent approach would not relate well
to the simplicity and regularity of the overall landscape pattern.
Medium and Large Scale Group
Capacity
This landscape type has a low capacity to accommodate both a medium and large scale turbine group.



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Although this landscape is generally large in scale, the undulating landform combined with the large area required to accommodate the number
of turbines would mean that it would be difficult to perceive a medium and large group as a single element. Turbine heights would also vary
with changes in relief – confusing the uncomplicated character of the existing skyline.
Conclusion

After consideration of the key characteristics defining the character of this landscape (individually and in combination) it is
judged that the Rolling Open Farmland landscape type is most suited to single and small scale (linear) turbine development.




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9. ROLLING OPEN FARMLAND


                                                                                                 A single turbine could relate to lines of Scots
                                                                                                 pine.




A single turbine could compare visually with churches in the landscape, as well as relate to linear features.


                                                                                                  Turbines are evenly spaced and follow contour lines to appear
                                                                                                  consistent and coherent.




A small turbine group could relate to existing linear features in the landscape.

								
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