Local Development Plan - the process

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Natural Heritage

The term Natural Heritage covers the geology, geomorphology, biodiversity, landscape and amenity value of the Welsh environment. It embraces the relationships between landform and landscape, habitats and wildlife, the capacity to sustain and promote economic activity and to provide enjoyment and inspiration. The natural heritage is not confined to the countryside or designated sites and is just as important in our urban areas.

The natural heritage of Wales offers an abundance of things to do, see, enjoy and benefit from. Caerphilly county borough's countryside offers extraordinary natural heritage and breathtaking and diverse landscapes that shift and change throughout the year. The natural heritage is a valuable natural resource proving many of our basic needs, clean air, water, food, raw materials, recreation and economic activity, for example.

The natural heritage, is however vulnerable and under significant pressure. Increasing populations, the need to supply additional housing, expand transport networks, provide employment sites, waste treatment and disposal facilities, changing rural practices and economies and climate change are all contributing to the pressure that the natural heritage is being put under.

Often perceived as an urban authority, Caerphilly county borough is actually a rural authority and is made up of 80% countryside, which is defined within the context of the Local Development Plan (LDP) as land that lies beyond the settlement boundary. 44% of the land is classified as agricultural holdings (June 2003 Welsh Agriculture Census) 13% is common land and 10% is forestry.

Changes to the countryside and our natural heritage are inevitable and necessary. But, these changes must be appropriate and seek to not only protect and conserve, but also to enhance the natural heritage over the plan period, so not to devalue this precious resource. Background Paper 2 – Natural Heritage, is a supporting document of the LDP, it sets out the detailed information, evidence and reasoning behind the countryside and natural heritage policies and will highlight the key issues.

adobe logo Background Paper 2 – Natural Heritage (PDF 347kb)

adobe logo Designation of Special Landscape Areas - January 2008 (PDF 36.0mb)

adobe logo Designation of Visually Important Local Landscapes - April 2008 (PDF 10.0mb)

adobe logo Review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation - December 2007 (PDF 263kb)