Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment

A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment will assess the scale and sensitivity of change of a certain development upon both the landscape and visual receptors. It will also, where possible, set out the mitigation measures required to intergrate the proposed development into the landscape, which in turn will feed into the proposed landscape masterplan and design proposals. ISL Associates have considerable experience in the production of Landscape Appraisals and Landscape & Visual Impact Assessments, across several sectors, including residential, commercial and energy production, but the process can be applied to any development. The assessments are invaluable tools in helping a client develop a site in the most desirable and sensitive manner, whilst protecting the most valuable landscape areas. The assessments are also useful in persuading local authorities that a potential development has considered landscape and visual issues from the outset and considered all implications and impacts within the proposals.

All our reports are carried out in accordance with the following recognised guidelines:

Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment published jointly by the Landscape Institute and the Institute of Environmental Assessment Third Edition

Landscape Character Assessment; Guidance for England and Scotland published by the Countryside Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Recent Projects have included:

Poddington Wind Farm, Bedfordshire
An assessment of a proposed wind turbine scheme on behalf of Bedfordshire County Council, assessing the strength and accuracy of an assessment produced by the applicants consultants. The Practice also acted as Expert Witness during the planning hearings.

Gatehouse Lane, Great Easton
The Practice produced a report regarding a sensitive field site outside of the village boundary of Great Easton, successfully arguing that the development with a comprehensive landscape mitigation scheme would be more appropriate to and less damaging to the landscape than the pre-permitted industrial units.

The Practice attended subsequent Planning Hearings to give evidence to the Planning Inspector.

Heights UK, Wainstalls, Halifax
The Practice was engaged by the client to assess the landscape and visual impact of a proposal for two new industrial units in the village of Wainstalls, near Halifax. The site was sensitive given its proximity to local hills and moorland, however the Practice was successful in arguing that with proper siting and structural planting the impact would be minimal.

Mendip Crematorium
The Practice was engaged to assess the impact of a proposed crematorium within a sensitive landscape area, particular significance was given to the landscape at night and the need to preserve the perceived darkness of the local landscape. Special light fittings that restricted light and motion sensors were fitted to limit any impact.

Water Lane, Mansfield
ISL Associates were engaged to assess an area of land around Water Lane, Mansfield and its potential for both residential and commercial development. The report found that a significant ridge separated the Water Lane area from landscape of higher quality to the west, and that the area could be successfully developed by reinforcing the ridgeline with additional structural planting. The assessment process led to the production of plans identifying opportunities and constraints, which in turn led to the production of a conceptual masterplan for the area.

Hope Park, Watermead North, Leicester
The Practice was engaged to assess the impact of a proposed large scale office and commercial development at the entrance to Leicester along the A46 northern perimeter road. The site was sensitive because of its location next to Watermead Country Park, and complicated because of its designation as Green Belt under the Charnwood Local Plan. The Practice following its site assessment argued that this designation was incorrect based on current site conditions and that the Green Belt boundary should be relocated to the west because of the sites influence by the adjacent busy A46 corridor and other large commercial units. The assessment has influenced the current design philosophy of the proposals, which rely heavily on habitat creation and site permeability for wildlife to access the adjacent country park.

Geothermal Plant, Stoke-On-Trent
The Practice was engaged to assess the impact of a proposed Geothermal Energy Plant adjacent to the old Festival Park, during both the construction and post-construction phase, which involved the erection of 43M tall drill rig. To assess the visual impact of this, it was necessary to create a map illustrating a zone of theoretical visibility, using specialist software. This plan data was used to assess the potential impact on sensitive receptors enabling our staff to be precise in the locations they needed to visit & assess.

Residential Projects

The Practice has produced several Landscape & Visual Assessment for residential projects assessing their impact on the landscape and recommending mitigation proposals for the landscape masterplan. We have also assessed sites for their development potential prior to clients committing to purchase the land.

Projects have included:

Lubenham Hill, Market Harborough

Scalford Road, Melton Mowbray

Harehedge Lane, Burton on Trent

Bulls Head, Tur Langton

Quorn Hall Park, Quorn

Lime Tree Retirement Village, Dunchurch

Lutterworth Road, Burbage