Kate Ahern


Kate Ahern, BSc (Hons) MSc CMLI is a Director of LUC, with 25 years of experience encompassing all aspects of landscape planning and management.

Kate has worked for numerous clients in developing landscape evidence and policies, including preparing Guidelines on the Implementation of the European Landscape Convention. Kate is skilled in approaches to characterisation and impact assessment, with particular experience in the application of landscape character assessment to decision-making. Recently, she has led a number of innovative studies that have developed the approach to seascape character assessment to inform marine planning and has been involved in seascape and landscape visual impact assessment (SLVIA) including expert witness presentation of evidence at appeal and examination.

Kate has prepared studies looking at seascape capacity and sensitivity to offshore wind farms and tidal stream developments, and has provided training to Natural England and the National Trust. She is currently undertaking research on the cultural services provide by the seascape.

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What tools and techniques can help steer offshore development to the right locations minimising seascape, landscape and visual impacts?

Limited spatial guidance is available to steer marine renewable technologies to the right locations. The tool of Seascape Character Assessment (SCA) can help, offering a means to avoid lengthy and costly consenting procedures. The presentation will share LUCs experience in preparing SCA for marine planning, with examples of where this can help guide the siting and design of offshore renewable developments, and as a baseline to assess impacts and monitor change.