Landscape & Visual Impact Assessments
What is a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment?
A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment combines the
magnitude of change with the
sensitivity of the landscape to the proposed
development, which provides a measure of the
significance of the effect. The acceptability of a
proposed development is determined by the extent to which the
long-term landscape and visual effects are significant.
Understanding the character quality and value of the landscape
determines the sensitivity of that
landscape to accommodate change through development.
Cumbria County Council have carried out an assessment of
landscape character within the County. The adopted South Lakeland
Plan identifies the different designations of landscape. The Local
Plan is to be replaced by a Local Development Framework in the next
The sensitivity of receptors (people) to
changes in view is dependent upon the activity, location and nature
of the view experienced. People engaged in outdoor sports or
occupiers of commercial buildings are considered to be of low
sensitivity, with road users, secondary footpath users and views
from upper storeys of residential properties of medium sensitivity.
Residents experiencing views from principal rooms, users of
strategic recreational footpaths and people visiting well-known
beauty spots are considered of high sensitivity to change.
When is a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment will only be required
for major schemes, which are
likely to have a significant visual impact within the landscape. A
Landscape and Visual Impact
Assessment will be required for all applications where an
Environmental Impact Assessment is
If you are unsure whether an assessment is required you should
contact a Planning Officer at an
You should note that if a Landscape and Visual Impact
Assessment is not submitted with an
application and it is deemed necessary then the application will
remain invalid until an appropriate assessment is received. As this
form of assessment is a technical document any report should
ideally be compiled by a qualified landscape architect.
Landscape and Visual Assessment Guidance:
The following guidance outlines the appropriate methodology
for carrying out Landscape and Visual Assessments.
- Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment published
jointly by the Landscape
Institute and the Institute of Environmental Assessment in
Landscape Character Information: