New assessment to help manage northern Devon’s landscapes

A stock image of moorland in northern Devon

A new assessment of northern Devon’s diverse landscapes has been published by North Devon and Torridge district councils.

An updated Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) for northern Devon provides an insight into the landscapes of northern Devon, their special qualities and the forces for change that have the potential to impact upon them in the future.

The LCA provides an understanding of how landscapes are changing and how they can be strengthened to become resilient to future pressures, including climate change. The assessment includes detail about local character, sense of place, dark skies and drivers for landscape change, and can be used to help inform decisions on matters including planning for development, land management, habitat and nature recovery and improvement.

The LCA will be used to help shape and inform proposals for development to ensure that they respect and respond to their context. The councils will use the LCA to directly inform decisions on planning applications and to feed into the preparation of policy on how the area should develop in the future.

The update to the ‘Joint Landscape Character Assessment for North Devon and Torridge District’ has been prepared by Land Use Consultants Limited (LUC) on behalf of the two councils and has included engagement with key stakeholders to ensure it truly reflects the local context.

Lead member for Planning at Torridge District Council, Councillor Rosemary Lock, says "I am thrilled to announce the publication of the updated Landscape Character Assessment for North Devon and Torridge. This invaluable resource will play a pivotal role in understanding and managing our cherished landscape while providing crucial guidance for delivering responsible development proposals. It can help ensure that working together, we can preserve the natural beauty of our area for generations to come."

Lead Member for Strategic Planning and the Economy at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse, says "We all know that we live in a beautiful area with amazing landscapes. This invaluable resource helps us navigate the ever-evolving landscape, guiding development proposals, and ensuring a sustainable future for our beautiful region."

The new LCA supersedes the edition adopted by both councils in 2011.

You can find the updated LCA online at and An interactive map detailing the assessment can be found at