What are Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments?
Landscape is about more than just how an area looks. The European Convention on Landscape describes it as “our living natural and cultural heritage, be it ordinary or outstanding, urban or rural, on land or in water”. Landscapes underpin our economy, support health and well-being and have unique qualities which contribute to the development of community identities and a sense of place.
Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments (LVIA) can be key to effective planning decisions since they help identify the effects of new developments on views and on the landscape itself. These effects can be quite different. Some developments can have visual effects but none on landscape character and some vice versa. A depth of analysis and understanding of these two interrelated aspects is required to produce a successful LVIA.
ProHort has extensive experience of undertaking Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments. Through LVIAs, we can work with our clients to address landscape and visual impact issues at an early stage, ensuring proposals work within the landscape setting, deal effectively with any constraints and are visually acceptable. A project which works with the landscape character of the area is more likely to be acceptable at a local level and to local planning authorities.
Working with our photo montage and visualisation experts, our landscape architects can advise on appropriate design and mitigation measures; often leading to appearances at public inquiries to present detailed evidence on development proposals.
ProHort also carry out Landscape Character Assessments (LCA) at a Local Authority level, identifying the unique qualities and features of an area which contribute to local distinctiveness. Our LCAs are used in Local Plans, Transport Strategies and Supplementary Planning Guidance to improve the design quality of new development and to promote good countryside management.