landscape visual impact analysis explained

Landscape Impacts

The effects of wind turbines on landscapes are assessed by Landscape & Visual Impact Analysis (LVIA). This catch-all term includes two distinct elements which can sometimes be contradictory.

In summary the difference is that a Landscape Impact Analysis (LIA) tries to assess the effects of proposals on the physical landscape, which may give rise to changes in landscape character.

Visual Impact Analysis (VIA) considers the changes to views caused by developments, their effects upon visual amenity, and how people respond to those changes.

There are many sources of advice and guidance on performing LVIAs but the two most often used today for windfarms are both Scottish guidance:

  • “Visual representations of wind farms: Good Practice Guidelines” (Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Renewables Forum, March 2006)
  • “Siting and designing windfarms in the landscape” (Scottish Natural Heritage, December 2009)

These are both available via