Visual & Landscape issues
Date: 27th June 2012
Location: IWEA Offices, Naas
Company Member: €285
Non Member: €407
Outline of Training Course:
Information on Training Programme
Landscape and Visual issues of wind farm developments are regularly key concerns of planning
authorities and local communities. This training course is designed to give a comprehensive overview of current best practice in Landscape and Visual Assessment (LVIA) of wind farms. It covers all relevant aspects including planning and regulatory background, the iterative assessment and mitigation process and the latest presentation techniques. It also sets out how the early stage siting and design of wind energy developments can be enhanced to avoid significant landscape and visual impacts and thereby increase the prospects of planning success. The proposed course structure is divided into a logical sequence of modules as set out below;
Module 1 provides a brief background to landscape and visual assessment and how it fits within the wider planning and EIA framework. At the broadest level this will look at European landscape obligations and national strategies. It will outline the Wind Energy Development Guidelines (2006) with regard to siting and design guidance for wind farms. This module will also highlight the role of County Development Plans and Wind Energy Strategies in the planning process for wind energy developments. Current trends in wind energy development will be discussed at the end of this module with the opportunity for discussion.
One of the most important aspects for Environmental Impact Assessment is gaining a full appreciation of the starting point for the assessment – ‘what’s there now’. This is no different for landscape and visual impact assessment and is referred to as establishing the landscape and visual baseline. Module 2 details exactly what is meant by the landscape baseline and the visual baseline and the methods and processes for determining and describing it. This module looks at the appropriate size of study areas and introduces Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV) mapping and how it is used. The concept of landscape and visual receptors is also introduced in the context of desk study analysis and field work techniques. Real case studies will be used to illustrate the key points of this session. A practical exercise at the end of this session will involve participants identifying potentially sensitive receptors on a sample ZTV map.
Having dealt with establishing the landscape and visual baseline in Module 2, Module 3 will go on to the estimation of landscape impacts and visual impacts. Relevant guidelines will be identified and the assessment process employed by MosArt will be described in detail. Again case studies will be used as well as a practical exercise at the end of this session. This will see participants estimating landscape and visual effects using sample photomontages. A brief discussion of the exercise and outcomes will follow.
Module 4 will use the knowledge gained so far to introduce a range of mitigation techniques and tools that can be employed at the beginning and throughout the landscape and visual assessment process to feedback into the final design of a scheme. This is an integral part of the EIA process and is intended to minimise its potential impacts of a scheme and thereby maximise its planning potential. Such mitigation tools include; route visibility analysis; reverse ZTVs from sensitive receptors; the use of wireframe images as design tools and; appropriate and beneficial consultation with stakeholders and the public.
The final module will be presented by MosArt’s visualisation partner, Macro Works. This module will look at the important role that visualisation techniques play in landscape and visual assessment. This will focus on the primary assessment tool of photomontages and the appropriate preparation standards to ensure they are representative, realistic and defendable. Examples of emerging technologies such as the use of live layout workshops and video montages will also be provided.
For more details on this course and over courses offered under the Wind Skillnets Programme please visit our Wind Skillnets section. Alternatively, contact email@example.com for further information.