Charter calls for fresh approach

A landscape charter hailed as groundbreaking could send landscape soaring up political and public agendas in Scotland.

The charter from Scottish Natural Heritage is in keeping with the European landscape convention, which aims to promote the value of landscapes.

It urges developers to meet best practice standards and ensure new building projects enhance landscapes and townscapes.

Board member Professor Keith Nicholson said: "Landscape is a huge asset to Scotland's economy, our culture and the well-being of the population."

He added: "We need to manage that asset in a way that safeguards it for future generations while benefiting the current generation. That will take widespread recognition and agreement on what landscape needs and what we need from it today and in the future."

Local authorities and Government departments must ensure respect for the landscape is at the heart of decision-making, he said.

Five principles state that everyone should look after landscape while shaping tomorrow's spaces needed forward-looking approaches to national and local policy. Communities, land managers, developers, local authorities, public bodies and non-government organisations must shoulder the burden.

More than a dozen groups have signed up to the charter, including the Royal Town Planning Institute and National Trust for Scotland.

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