Amendments are clarifications rather than radical changes
In December, Scottish Natural Heritage published Version 2.1 of its new guidance on the visual representation of wind farms, updating and replacing the previous guidance Version 2 of July 2014. There are a number of clarifications to try to ensure a consistent approach is taken to producing the new visualisations required by Version 2.
• not all viewpoints require photomontage (e.g. distant viewpoints) and this should be agreed with the planning authority
• cloudy skies can be acceptable in some circumstances, as long as the visibility is sufficiently clear and the turbines are rendered with sufficient contrast, for example where the turbines are backclothed, noting that the preference is still for clear skies.
The guidance stresses however that the changes do not affect the core methodology that was set out in Version 2 July 2014.
Simon Odell, head of technical and professional services at the LI, said, ‘Although the core methodology has not changed, if members are involved with any relevant visualisation work they need to be using Version 2.1 of the (new) guidance with immediate effect. There is no grace period and the updated guidance contains some important clarifications, particularly regarding: topographic data; vertical field of view; not all viewpoints requiring photomontage; cloudy skies; paper sizes when windfarms will not fit; how windfarms at different stages in the planning process should be shown and preparing material for the digital viewer when this becomes available in summer/late 2015.’
See details of the new guidance on the Scottish National Heritage website.