An Introduction to Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments (LVIA) is a key tool to determine the potential impacts planning applications and decisions may have on the landscape. This is achieved by subjectively identifying and assessing the existing landscape and measuring the potential effect new developments may have on views and visual amenity within the landscape itself. The current Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (2013) have been produced by the Landscape institute and provide the industry benchmark for carrying out these assessments.

This training session provides an overview of the LVIA guidance, how it can be used to inform and enhance development decisions which will influence the landscape and how these effects can be successfully mitigated through design. The training session is aimed at those who wish to understand the principles and process used in LVIA and those who may find themselves reviewing an LVIA as part of a planning application.

The training session will cover:

  • LVIA in Environment Statements and appraisals
  • Relationship with landscape character assessment and sensitivity studies
  • Methodology and definitions 
  • Landscape character sensitivity – including landscape value and susceptibility to change
  • Visual sensitivity – receptors and viewpoints
  • Magnitude of change  - scale, duration,
  • Assessing landscape effects
  • Assessing visual effects
  • Mitigation
  • The use of figures and visualizations

Workshop Session: Applying the principles with examples of LVIAs

This course will be run by Jonathan Billingsley, Director of the Landscape Partnership. Jonathan has a broad experience in landscape design and landscape planning issues spanning the last 30 years. In 2005 The Landscape Partnership prepared a Green Infrastructure Strategy for the Cambridge Sub-Region for which Jonathan was Project Director. The project received a Landscape Institute Award in 2006 for Strategic Landscape Planning. Subsequent studies have included landscape capacity studies, Green Infrastructure Strategies for Peterborough and Norwich and a Landscape Management Options study for Cambridge. Jonathan has also designed and implemented a number of landscape projects within the region including: commercial, housing and mixed use sites. Most of the schemes have involved the preparation of landscape and visual impact assessments to inform the design and accompany the applications.

Jonathan developed expertise in both housing and renewable energy projects. This has included producing wind turbine guidance for local authorities, commenting on a wide range of applications and acting as expert witness at Public Inquiries and Informal Hearings. He has acted for local authorities, developers and local action groups.

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Landscape Visual Impact Assessment Illustration
Landscape Visual Impact Assessment Map