Special Landscape Area Consultation-Invitation to Respond

April 2016

As you may be aware, Bennachie has been identified by Aberdeenshire Council as a candidate for Special Landscape Area status. If awarded, this would go some way towards building the case against siting the A96 dual carriageway near Bennachie. Whilst Special Landscape Area designation would not, in itself, be enough to rule out the potential dual carriageway, it would protect the area of Bennachie on a local scale, and would be a significant piece in the justification to protect Bennachie .

Aberdeenshire Council has launched a consultation on Special Landscape Areas, as part of the Local Development Plan.

You can have your say on the areas which have been assessed as the most valuable in the area, and should be protected and enhanced by proposed development, including Bennachie and surrounding area.

Save Bennachie would therefore be delighted if you could take a few minutes to express your opinions, as the more people get behind Bennachie's SLA candidacy, the better. People value Bennachie in different ways, whether for its scenic qualities, cultural associations, health, educational or recreational enjoyment. Details of how to respond are available below, with responses to be submitted by 13th May.

Aberdeenshire Council appointed landscape specialists to undertake a professional assessment to identify 'candidate ' Special Landscape Areas using a prescribed methodology.
Each candidate area represents an example of the 'best' of Aberdeenshire's landscape at a local scale. Each Special Landscape Area is accompanied by a Statement of Importance which sets out the location and boundaries of that Area, and identifies the key features of the landscape which the Supplementary Guidance seeks to protect. Forces for change and subsequent management recommendations are made to identify what may cause an adverse effect on the key features within a Special Landscape Area and how to mitigate against these effects.

Bennachie's Special Landscape Area would extend from the River Don as far as Suie Hill, and including the wooded farmland on its flanks. The iconic nature of the profile of the range is acknowledged, as is the importance of the woodland to the special character of the area. The recreational value of the area is also highlighted. The Statement of Importance for the Bennachie Special Landscape Area is found from page 20 of the Proposed Supplementary Guidance.There is a map of the proposed Bennachie Special Landscape Area in the Annexe, nos 16-18 ref 5.(See below)

Consultation on the areas to be included as Special Landscape Areas, the characteristics of these areas, and the prescriptions to be applied to new development is open to public comment until Friday 13th May, 2016. Aberdeenshire Council will consider all feedback given and will decide on the final form of the Supplementary Guidance this Autumn, to coincide with the expected date of adoption of the Local Development Plan 2016.

Here is a copy of the Supplementary Guidance and response form, available via the link below. A series of short films have also been produced , including one on Bennachie.


You can respond by:

  • By emailing ldp@aberdeenshire.gov.uk You may simply wish to send an email stating that you wish to support the proposed designation of Bennachie as a Special Landscape Area because....../ or you may wish to select specific statements from the above documents, OR
  • Completing the attached response form, OR
  • By post to Planning Team, Infrastructure Services, Aberdeenshire Council, Woodhill House, Westburn Road Aberdeen AB 16 5GB

Please download the response pdf here: Response PDF

If you have any questions on the consultation process, please contact Ailsa Anderson Policy Planner at Aberdeenshire Council Planning and Building Standards Infrastructure Services on 01224 664221 or email ldp@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

For more news please see our News section.