Visual Amenity

A potential alignment corridor passes right through the heart of residential, significance areas, wildlife habitat and public open spaces of Darley, Coimadai and Merrimu. Residents live in these regions for the priceless views, their appreciation of nature and desire to live in a rural setting. The irreversible and unacceptable impact on our visual amenity, property values, wildlife, environment and local community is huge.

If you have a view you would like to share, please use the submission form on the Community Views page.

  • The proposed Corridor would result in unacceptable direct and cumulative visual impacts on residences, public viewpoints and the surrounding landscape;
  • The proposed Corridor would result in unacceptable impacts on the landscape character and significant landscape features;
  • The majority of submissions from residences in the local area object to the proposed Corridor and Moorabool Shire Council maintains residual concerns about the impacts;
  • The proposed Corridor is not consistent with the current land use “environmental management” zoning provisions; and
  • The proposed Corridor is not in the public interest and does not provide any benefit to residents or the surrounding community.

Visual Amenity refers to the views and surroundings that create the backdrop to an area. A Residential Visual Amenity Assessment assesses the potential visual impact of a development on the residential amenity of property.

Landscape Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA)

The Environment Effects Statement (EES) Landscape Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) identifies the evaluation objective of the assessment as follows: Landscape and visual impact – to minimise adverse effects on landscape values, visual amenity, recreational and open space values and to maximise the enhancement of these values where opportunities exist.

Landscape and visual impact is the combination of an effect (magnitude of change) and the sensitivity of a landscape or view.

Amenity: The pleasant or satisfactory aspects of a location which contribute to its overall character and the enjoyment of residents or visitors. May include access to services and well-designed public spaces. (Victorian Planning Authority)

Landscape Character

The description of landscape character provides an overview of the varying, distinctive landscapes that exist within an environment. Rather than defining landscapes that are visually better or worse, landscape character describes the differences between landscapes and the elements that make them unique.

In order to understand how a particular noticeable change to the visual environment would impact on identified sensitive receptors, it is necessary to determine the overall sensitivity of a particular landscape to a noticeable change. Landscape sensitivity refers to the overall potential impact that could be expected on a sensitive receptor as a result of a noticeable change to the landscape. Landscape sensitivity does not define the nature and scale of the proposed activity, but rather, describes the overall ability of the existing environment to accommodate change. Landscape sensitivity levels are:

Low sensitivity – Very few visual impacts would be experienced as a result of the proposed change to the visual environment. A low sensitivity to visual change is either as a result of the proposed activity integrating efficiently with the existing environment and/or there are a very small number of, or no, sensitive receptors with potential views of the proposed activity.

Medium sensitivity – Some visual impacts would be experienced as a result of the proposed change to the visual environment. A medium sensitivity to visual change is either as a result of the proposed activity only partially integrating with the existing environment and/or there are limited sensitive receptors with potential views of the proposed activity.

High sensitivity – Significant visual impacts would be experienced as a result of the proposed change to the visual environment. A high sensitivity to visual change is either as a result of the proposed activity not integrating with the existing environment and/or there are numerous sensitive receptors with potential views of the proposed activity.

The overall sensitivity of a particular viewing location or area to change in the visual environment is an important factor in undertaking an assessment of the revised Project’s potential visual impact. A viewing location with a higher level of sensitivity, such as a residential dwelling, would be more susceptible to visual impacts than a viewing location with a lower sensitivity, such as an industrial property.

Under this Act, ‘environment’ is defined as “living things, their physical, biological and social surroundings, and interactions between all of these”. The factors and objectives generally relevant to landscape and visual impacts are:

  • Landforms: “To maintain the variety and integrity of significant physical landforms so that environmental values are protected”
  • Social Surroundings: “To protect social surroundings from significant harm”.

Merrimu

Merrimu is unique in providing uninterrupted views of the Pyrete Range portion of the Lerderderg State Park and Merrimu Reservoir. This area north of Bacchus Marsh contains properties where visual amenity has extremely high importance.

Coimadai

Coimadai is unique in providing uninterrupted views of the Lerderderg State Park and surrounding plains. This area north of Bacchus Marsh contains properties where visual amenity has extremely high importance.

Darley

The Northern Darley precinct is unique in providing uninterrupted views of the Lerderderg State Park and surrounding plains. This area of Bacchus Marsh contains properties where visual amenity has extremely high importance.

obviously view lines that would like that should be protected

Public comment: Tara Horsnell – Planning and Environment Lead – AusNet Transmission Group Pty Ltd
WVTNP, 11th July Questions and Answers Session- Transcript (themed). Specifically Item 4 of the Transcript.

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