Russettings Care Home

Delivering Care to the High Weald National Landscape: Landscape Appraisal Case Study


Russettings Care Ltd.


Ecotecture Architecture, The Mayhew Consultancy Ltd, Kent Wildlife Trust



Securing a planning permission for a care home development in a National Landscape (formerly AONB) can be a challenging and costly task. Our streamlined yet thorough approach to landscape appraisal and design of Russetings Care Home in the High Weald National Landscape has been rewarded with a planning permission.

Whilst the original brief included a potential full Landscape and Visual Impact Appraisal (LVIA), our goal was to rationalise the scope of the appraisal in the spirit of proportionality to focus on the analysis of key sensitivities, cons and opps, and ensure the most effective design is proposed.

To avoid unnecessary costs to the client, our aim was to produce a more concise Landscape and Visual Statement (LVS) which would explain the key characteristics of the site and its surroundings with the aid of easy-to-understand plans and annotated photography, and to document the nature of the site’s interaction with the nearby receptors. The sifting of issues according to their importance and the thorough analysis of context, views or local landscape character was presented in a compact report with a concise summary section on the key elements to be brought forward into the final step: landscape concept work.

Our team’s preferred approach was to analyse the site holistically during internal team workshops and present our findings as an integrated document which brings together the appraisal and design in a graphics-rich form. The design proposals in the form of an evolving landscape framework plan has informed the concept, will help shape the care home gardens and most importantly integrate the scheme into the wider landscape setting.

Our landscape design for Russetings Care Home has addressed several challenging issues, including the site’s interface with the adjacent fields and views from a public footpath, an adjacent property with overlooking constraints, drainage issues and, most importantly, an appropriate transition from the AONB landscape into a formal care home garden with a mix of native and amenity planting.

Russettings Care Home