Last edited 05 Mar 2021

Landscape effects

The term ‘landscape effects’ refers to effects that impact on a landscape as a resource in its own right. An assessment of landscape effects will consider the effects of proposed change and on a landscape and how it will impact on the elements that make up the landscape, its aesthetic aspects, perceptual aspects and distinctive character.

Landscape effects can be positive, neutral, or negative. A positive effect would add to the landscape quality and character. Neutral effects would have low or negligible impact, considered part of normal landscape processes. A negative effect could involve loss of landscape elements resulting in a reduction in the landscape quality.

The level of effects can be determined by the combination of sensitivity of a receptor and the proposed magnitude of change. A receptor is an aspect of the landscape that could be affected, such as physical resources or viewer groups. The magnitude assesses the size and scale of the effect, the extent of the area in which it occurs, whether it is reversible and whether it is short term or long term.

Guidance on the preparation of Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments is available in GLVIA 3, Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Third Edition, published by the Landscape Institute and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment in 2013.

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