The visual impact
and presence of golf courses, particularly outwith towns and cities,
has often been criticsed for its part in the 'suburbanisation of
the countryside' Developers prefer to locate golf courses on areas
of interesting topography and landscape setting, in order for the
golfing experience to be more enjoyable. Areas such as Coastal
Dunes and Links, Coastal Clifftop, Undulating and Prominent Hillsides
and Lowland Heath are all chosen because of their landscape character.
Golf courses situated in such areas are often the most memorable
because of the association with the surrounding landscape.
The debate is:
How can golf courses be designed and constructed in such a way that
their presence in such landscapes does not detract from landscape
In the same
way as Nature Conservation, the architect will be unable to ensure
the golf course is designed in harmony with the existing landscape
character if they are not aware of what the current strengths and
weaknesses of that landscape are. For this reason we advise all
developers to undertake a Landscape Character Assessment of the
site before designs are prepared.
Let us not forget
that the introduction of a golf course into certain landscapes will
be to their benefit by adding diversity, new tree cover, increased
rough grassland, management and introduction of dykes and hedgerows
and so on. These benefits should not be assumed in all cases, and
in every project, the developer should strive to seek maximum landscape
which impact upon Historic Parklands and Designed Landscapes will
face other landscape and cultural heritage issues in order to maintain
the historical integrity of the site. The guidance covers this to
a degree, but more detailed advice is available from the range of
contacts appended to the document.
on considering the needs of Landscape Character during the planning,
design and construction phases may give some ideas of what to look
for and what issues to address on a given site.