5 April 2017
We are pleased that through collaborative working, WYG has successfully completed a combined heritage and landscape appraisal of Dover’s Western Heights for Dover District Council.
Our team of multidisciplinary experts were tasked with drawing together information about the heritage, landscape and visual amenity of Western Heights, setting out guidelines for the future management of the monument and development within its setting.
Working in collaboration, WYG provided landscape architecture, archaeology, built heritage and ecology services to the client.
Western Heights is an extensive area of fortifications, part of Dover’s important defence heritage and is a scheduled monument containing listed buildings. Its sheer size, not to mention its fragmented ownership and some inappropriate past development within its boundary presents many challenges in relation to its future management.
The purpose of this integrated study is to provide the information and analysis to support establishing the “shared vision” for the Western Heights, from an understanding of the interplay between its history, the character that has developed in response to that history and the present-day uses of the extensive area. The key challenge it will assist with is determining what measures are needed to secure the future of the fortifications in the context of ongoing change from the past, through the present and into the future.
The WYG team assessed the landscape and historic landscape character, significant views and visual relationships, past, present and future of the Western Heights and its setting. We developed a series of action plans, recommending different management regimes appropriate to the different landscape and heritage character areas of the study site, such as the vegetation to be removed, reduced, maintained or augmented. We also assessed the potential visual relationships of key strategic developments in the surrounding area with the visual setting of the monument.
The multidisciplinary Western Heights Combined Heritage and Landscape Appraisal project will allow Dover District Council to approach the future management of the monument, and development control within it and its setting, from an informed perspective that will celebrate all its diverse values, ensuring its continued relevance and enjoyment for years to come.
Mary O’Connor, Associate Director, WYG said: “Close collaboration across various WYG teams allowed the different sensitivities and priorities to be identified and balanced in a management strategy that will respect the site’s significant heritage, its current amenity value and its important ecology, and the opportunities offered by the site’s heritage, landscape amenity and ecology to be fully realised.”
Thanks to those external partners involved in the project including Historic England, English Heritage and Kent County Council for their invaluable input.