Non-statutory planning guidance

Special landscape area citations

Special Landscape Areas (SLAs) are regionally valuable landscapes which we want to protect and enhance so we can enjoy them.

Highland-wide local development plan

These were previously called  Areas of Great Landscape Value in the Highland Structure Plan in 2001. In November 2009 the Council and Scottish Natural Heritage commissioned Horner and MacLennan along with Mike Wood, Landscape Architect to produce citations for each of the SLAs. Some minor changes were made to make sure boundaries were contiguous with the National Scenic Area boundary. Otherwise the boundaries remained unchanged from the Structure Plan or subsequent Local Plan. The citations help us understand what a proposed development’s impact may be on the special qualities of an SLA. They do this by identifying special qualities and how they are sensitive to change.

The  citations are in the Assessment of Highland Special Landscape Areas. They were finalised by the Planning, Environment and Development Committee on 25 May 2011 following the consideration of responses to consultation on a draft assessment held from 24 September 2010 to 3 December 2010.

Since the document was published in June 2011, consideration has been given to SLA boundary amendments as part of the preparation of the Area Local Development Plans. This has resulted in amendments being finalised to the boundaries of the following SLAs:

  • Oldshoremore, Cape Wrath and Durness Special Landscape Area
  • Eriboll East and Whiten Head Special Landscape Area
  • Farr Bay, Strathy and Portskerra Special Landscape Area
  • Dunnet Head Special Landscape Area

These amended boundaries came into force when the Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan was adopted in August 2018

  • Drynachan, Lochindorb and Dava Moors Special Landscape Area (came into force when the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan  was adopted in July 2015)

Maps of the amended boundaries are shown in the preliminary pages of the Assessment document. In due course the main body of the “Assessment of Highland Special Landscape Areas” document itself will be updated to incorporate and reflect these boundary amendments.

We are also considering an SLA boundary amendment within the West Highland and Islands Local Development Plan area. 

If you need a hard copy of individual citations, please ask us for this.