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LA2  Areas of Special Landscape Value  Policy

The following areas are identified as Areas of Special Landscape Value. Their boundaries are shown on the Proposals Map. Development proposals within these areas will be regulated in accordance with Policy LA1:

1. Bidston Hill
2. Dee Coast, including Heswall Dales, Thurstaston Common and Royden Park
3. Caldy Hill, including Stapledon Wood
4. Thornton Hough

Reasoned justification :

14.11 Policy LA1 provides for the protection of the character and visual appearance of Areas of Special Landscape Value. Proposal LA2, therefore, lists those areas to which Policy LA1 applies. Proposal LA2 also reflects the Local Planning Authority's approach to use ASLV designation sparingly and only to landscapes of outstanding value within a Borough-wide context.

14.12 The Dee Coastline ASLV, including Caldy Hill and the Thornton Hough ASLV, were originally designated as heritage landscapes within the Merseyside Structure Plan, which was approved in November 1980. They were considered to represent outstanding landscapes of County-wide significance which merited special protection in order to minimise the potential for damage from new development. These areas still make an important and positive contribution to the distinctive attractiveness of the peninsula. Proposal LA1, therefore, continues the level of control already established within statutory development plan policy, by identifying them for protection, subject to Policy LA1.

14.13 Bidston Hill is the only ASLV not previously identified within the Merseyside Structure Plan. It is a distinctive ridge of high ground, clothed in woodland, visually prominent across a wide area, which rises above Bidston Moss and the M53 Motorway, in stark contrast to the extensive, lowland plains of north Wirral. It is the northern outcrop of a wooded, sandstone ridge which continues through to Noctorum, Mountwood and Storeton. In addition to its considerable archaeological and historic associations and the fine views it offers of the rest of the Borough it is also undoubtedly a feature of considerable importance within the Wirral landscape meriting protection under Policy LA1.