IEMA publishes revised LVIA guidance

5th April 2013

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Updated guidance on landscape and visual impacts assessment (LVIA) highlights the importance of skilled practitioners and stakeholder engagement

IEMA and the Landscape Institute have published the third edition of their best-practice guide on assessing the landscape and visual impacts of developments.

Alongside updating advice to include developments in environmental impact assessment (EIA) policy and practices over the last 11 years, such as adoption of the European landscape convention, the revised guide features an expanded chapter on cumulative effects assessment and new advice on presentation.

The new edition, which is sponsored by English Heritage, Scottish Natural Heritage and Natural Resources Wales, also places greater emphasis on collaborating with stakeholders during LVIAs and, in particular, the role EIA professionals can play.

The guide highlights how EIA practitioners can ensure that the most relevant assessment principles and approaches are being used, and offer guidance in setting out the context of the development and the receiving environment.

Josh Fothergill, IEMA’s policy and practice lead for EIA, said: “For the first time, this key piece of guidance specifically recognises and references the crucial role of the EIA professional whose interpretive knowledge and skills help to ensure that LVIAs undertaken within the EIA process can be effectively integrated with the rest of the topic assessments in an environmental statement.

“The increased emphasis on discussion and engagement with key stakeholders should help to focus assessments on likely significant effects, improve the way cumulative effects are considered and reduce delays associated with further information requests.”

The new version of the guide will be an important not only for EIA and landscape practitioners, but also developers, lawyers and those involved in planning decisions, said Sue Illman, president of the Landscape Institute.

“The updated guide will play a crucial role for those concerned with changes to the landscape and the impact of developments; the guidelines will assist decision-makers in determining what is acceptable, unacceptable or what can be mitigated,” she said.

John Briggs, landscape architect at the newly-launched Natural Resources Wales, agreed: “The guidelines remain an important ‘how to do it’ benchmark for producing consistent, transparent and value-neutral judgments about the impacts of development on landscapes.”

Get your copy of GLVIA3 and learn more about the guidelines

GLVIA3 is now available for purchase from

IEMA is hosting a series of free member workshops around the UK to explain the new guidance, beginning in London on 30 April and followed by events in Cardiff (1 May), Birmingham (2 May), Newcastle (8 May), Glasgow (9 May) and Manchester (10 May). Places are limited and are being taken up quickly.

For more information and to book a place, visit

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