This study was undertaken to understand the landscape, visual and historic environment effects of operational wind farms in Northumberland in the United Kingdom. The report and its findings can be viewed by clicking on the links on this page. A summary of the findings excerpted from the report is provided below.
Documents filed under Impact on Views from Europe
The Scottish Natural heritage (SNH) has published ‘Visual Representation of Wind Farms, July 2014’. This guidance replaces the previous version (2006). The updated guidance sets a new standard for wind farm visualizations; and is prescriptive which means that applicants must comply with the key requirements set out in Annex B of the guidance. An explanation of the guidance is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. While written for wind farm assessments in Scotland, the parameters for producing visualizations are applicable worldwide.
Developers should also be aware that the case clarifies the way in which the planning balance must be struck by decision makers. They are not free to give harm to heritage assets such weight as they may choose when carrying out the balancing exercise. Instead, they must give particular weight the desirability of avoiding such harm when assessing whether the advantages of the proposal outweigh that harm. The rejection of the "reasonable observer" test will also be a significant constraint on the ability to construct wind farms and other new development in sensitive locations.
Tribunal de Grande in Montpellier in France found that the visual and audible impacts of an operating wind facility on the owners of the Eighteenth Century Château de Flers in the northern French province of Nord-Pas-de-Calais were unreasonable and ordered the ten turbines be removed. A summary of the Tribunal's ruling is provided below. The full order can be found by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) released revised guidance for producing visualisations for proposed wind energy facilities. The new guidance describes how wind developers should visually represent their proposals. It also updates existing guidance on mapped information and has a new a section on offshore wind farms.
This document does not question whether we should be developing windfarms or should not be developing windfarms, or even whether they look good on a landscape or are a visual intrusion on the landscape. We are simply addressing the methodology used by the windfarm industry, who in our opinion, have been using misleading methods for the last 11 years whilst seeking to obtain planning permission. Having had more than 15 years experience in producing visualisations for planning applications, both here and in other parts of the world, what we see happening throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK is a method of visual presentation which brings our profession into disrepute. After many years of fighting for fairer standards, something has to be done because of the growing public perception that photomontage is unreliable.