Davidstow Windfarm, Cornwall – LVIA and Ecology
Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
Community Windpower Ltd were investigating proposals for the installation of 20no. 126.5m high wind turbines and peripheral elements including a control room and substation, access routes and tracks for maintenance, meteorological masts, and underground cable connections to the substation on the former Davidstow Airfield in Cornwall. A planning application for the proposals was submitted in 2008. CEC were commissioned to prepare the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment as well as the Ecological Impact Assessment (including various protected species and wintering bird surveys) for the proposals.
The preparation of the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment is based on the principles outlined in the Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Assessment and Scottish Natural Heritage’s online and published guidance on the visual assessment of windfarms, both of which are widely accepted as industry standards. SNH’s guidance on the presentation of windfarm visual assessment was also referred to. The LVIA report covers:
- Description of the landscape and visual baseline conditions of the site and study area;
- Information gaps and assumptions on which the assessment is based;
- Description of the likely potential sensitive receptors;
- Summary of likely predicted changes to the baseline which can reasonably be foreseen;
- Identification of predicted effects as a result of the proposed development;
- Assessment of predicted landscape and visual effects, including cumulative effects, on identified receptors, and their significance based on receptors’ value, condition, capacity, distance from development, sensitivity to change and magnitude of change; and
- Potential mitigation measures to be incorporated into the design.
The text is supplemented by18 drawings and a photographic record of the site and study area.
CEC used the computer software KeyTerraFirma to generate ground models of the study area for production of landform drawings and to analyse the visibility of turbines (computer-generated Zones of Theoretical Visiblity – ZTV). The client produced wire frame views of the turbine array, which were reviewed by CEC resulting in slight modifications to the layout to avoid ghosting and undesirable visual effects.