Landscape Analysis     

The impact on the landscape of a turbine or turbine development has always been contentious and is becoming even more so as the number of turbines increases. To help assess the impact a full landscape report is generally required, to be submitted with the planning application. This helps the planners, and others, decide whether the turbines will be acceptable, or not.

There are a number of components usually included in the landscape report:

•     Map, centred on the proposed development, showing other proposed, approved and installed turbines in the surrounding area. Aberdeenshire Example

•     Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV)

A map showing areas from where the turbine will be visible are called ZTVs. These may depict visibility of the blade tips, hub, or any point on the turbine tower. In most cases the method assumes a bare earth landscape, as vegetative cover changes with time.  In general showing the visibility of blade tips may be confusing, as the map will indicate visibility even if only 1 mm of blade can theoretically be seen. Distance, plus any vegetation, will mean that in practice, the turbine may not be seen, and the maps showing visibility of some part of the hub indicate better when the blades will be seen.

ZTVs are also done to show the cumulative impact of all turbines in the area, usually in groups of 4 to 5 developments.

The radius of consideration can be up to 30 km for larger developments but in many cases additional images, enlarged to show the detail of 5 km or 10 km radius are also useful. The close-ups allow a check as to whether a particular house will see the turbines or not.

Example 5 km radius ZTV

Wire Frame Images     


Example of the visibility of three other developments near to the proposed turbine


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