LVIA Design Evolution Iteration

The appearance of the wind farm will continue to be given a high priority in the design process, in parallel with other technical parameters which need to be considered.

The scoping layout contained 18 turbines with a maximum blade tip height of up to 180 m. These turbines were distributed across the site and represented a slightly reduced number of turbines from the maximum of 20 turbines that could fit onto the site within the parameters of on-site constraints such as watercourses, environmental designations and steep slopes. The omission of two turbines was recommended following early consideration of landscape and visual matters in order to reduce potential effects upon nearby residents and landscape and visual effects in locations to the north and west.

Subsequent to the submission of the scoping layout, further consideration of landscape and visual matters has been made. This has included the preparation of wirelines from the proposed viewpoint locations and visits to the local area.

When the appearance of the scoping layout was reviewed, it became apparent that the distribution of the turbines across the site was leading to a development that extended widely across some views, with notable variations in the ground levels of the turbine bases and with some turbines appearing as outliers from some locations. In some instances, the arrangement of turbines also led to clustering and overlapping of turbines.

In the time following the submission of the scoping layout, further technical appraisal (including consideration of ornithological constraints) of the arrangement and appearance of the proposed turbines has been undertaken. This recommended that the wind farm is focussed in the southern parts of the site, with turbines removed from the northern and western areas. In addition, it was recommended that if feasible, the height of proposed turbines be kept below the 150 m threshold at which aviation lighting is required. This has the following benefits:

  • An increase in the distance of turbines from more sensitive locations to the north and west of the site
  • A reduction of the areas from where the turbines could be seen and the reduction in the number and extent and prominence of turbines visible when seen
  • Effects would be limited to daylight visibility only
  • A reduction in the extent of the wind farm across views
  • A reduction in the clustering and overlapping of turbines
  • The creation of a more compact array of turbines
  • A reduction in the variation between the ground level of turbine bases.

The implementation of these actions led to the current layout, which consists of 12 turbines. A comparison of the two layouts is presented here which shows the extent of the removal of turbines from the north and west of the site.

The benefits of the revisions to the layout can be seen on the comparative ‘wireline views’. The locations of the viewpoints are shown on the Zone of Theoretical Visibility diagram.

Wireline views are computer-generated models that show the proposed turbines in their landform setting. They do not show any features that appear in views, such as trees, houses, forestry, or roads, and are therefore theoretical rather than realistic, but they do provide an impression of the turbine arrangement.

These wireline views show the scoping layout and the current layout. Comparative wirelines are shown for six viewpoints and are presented alongside photomontages here.