The Design Partnership

Visual Impact Assessments


Visual Impact Assessments

What is a Visual Impact Assessment (VIA)?

A Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) is a systematic analysis that identifies potential impacts of development on the scenery and views of a site where changes are proposed. A VIA also investigates options to mitigate these effects.

Visual impacts on a landscape may be positive or negative and perceptions may vary as to the significance of the impact. 

Why is it important?

Visual impacts associated with a proposed development can be a major concern for people close to the development site.

It is necessary to have an understanding of the effects a proposed development may have on the views and appearance of a site to protect important scenic values.

A VIA can identify ways to mitigate any negative impacts on visual amenity and protect the landscapes we value.

When is a Visual Impact Assessment Required?

When changes to the surrounding landscape are proposed that may affect the visual amenity of individuals or groups of people, a VIA may be required. 

VIAs are typically required for larger developments where the visual impact of the development is likely to be significant.

A VIA may be included as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment or as a stand alone document.