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.