Category Archives: Visual Impact

Visual Impact Assessment Bath

We have recently been asked to provide a Visual Impact Assessment for a site in Bath.

This was an unusual request given the scale of the building which is quite small, given the range of buildings and structures we typically see requiring a visual impact assessment.

Ordinarily we would carry out visual impact assessments for projects such as wind turbines, or solar farms, but in this instance the project comprises of a extension to an existing domestic garage, to create a two storey building.

picture of a timber clad building (university of dundee library)

The project is in a suburban area, but is relatively close to Bath’s historic centre. Perhaps this is the reason a Visual Impact Assessment has been requested by Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES).

We will visit the area surrounding site and take photos so as to represent views from different aspects, we will then make a qualitative review of ht e situation and prescribe a magnitude of impact.

If you require a visual impact assessment for any type of project please do contact us.

A visual impact assessment is process by which the visual impact of a project is assessed. For example the visual impact of a new or altered building may have on onlookers. This differs to a landscape impact assessment where the impact is assessed in relation to the landscape, no a conceptual onlooker.

Image: PFord, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment – Rickmansworth

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment – Rickmansworth

It is fairly standard for LVIAs to be requested when large structures are built in a rural setting, but not so in suburban areas. SWEL were interested to see why a LVIA had been requested for a project within the M25 and sited within a developed area.

The residential project was unusual in its scale and design, however the building’s novel form, and inclusion of features such as roof top gardens will make an attractive replacement in contrast to the existing industrial buildings.

Many Sensitive Visual Receptors in the Area

Sympathetically Designed

SWELspent 12 hours walking and cycling though the surrounding landscape to establish points of visibility, whether these were from foot paths, roads of one of the 2 no. SSSI sites in the surrounding area.

There are a great number of hedge rows in the area which contribute visual screening and these will be included in the ZTVs.

A ZTV (Zone of Theoretical Visibility) using computer modelling to deduce where the project will be visible from. Typically these a “bare earth” ZTVs which ignore vegetation and built screening. A ZTV which includes vegetated and built screening is far more time consuming to produce which is why they are often omitted from LVIAs, but a vital part of any LVIA.

Wooded Areas reduce Visibility Impacts

Visual and Landscape Environmental Impact Assessment

Visual Impact Report for Wind Turbine 100 KW – Cornwall

Visual Impact Report for Wind Turbine 100 KW – Cornwall

A land owner sought to errect a 100 KW turbine in Cornwall, part of requested information for planning application was a visual impact assessment.

As is standard with a SWEL visual impact assesment we create 3D models that acuratly depict the the proposed devlopment within the context of the environment.

Many planners ask for wire frame models for assessing visual impact (as below), and although wire frame models give a good representation of scale and massing thye do not factor in surface details, shading and colours.

For example in the bwlow picture the ground is many shades lighter than it would be in “real life”, and so we see an increase of contrst between the ground and turbine. With out surface texture added, hilly areas also appear darker than flat areas becauae of contour bunching.