The Provincial Government of The Western Cape: Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (D:EA&DP) developed a guideline for Involving Visual and Aesthetic Specialists in EIA Processes (CSIR, 2005). The guidelines apply to projects within the Western Cape, however, they provide important guidance for visual specialist inputs in terms of the EIA processes. The guideline provides important information on the visual assessment methodology. There are four levels provided in the guideline with each level comprising of different requirements.
A Level 1 assessment comprises of a visual screening report compiled by either an EIA Practitioner or visual specialist. The report includes brief comments on the visual impact of the project and an assessment of expected impacts/benefits.
A Level 2 assessment is more in-depth and is required to be compiled by a visual specialist or competent professional. The report includes a description of the receiving environment, proposed project, sensitive receptors and view catchment area. Similar to a level 1 assessment the report briefly highlights potential visual impacts and possible mitigation measures.
A Level 3 assessment should also be compiled by a visual specialist or competent professional and can be reviewed by an independent, experienced visual specialist (if required).
A level 3 assessment requires additional information when compared to a level 2 which includes:
Viewpoints and receptors
Indication of potential visual impacts using established criteria
Inclusion of potential lighting impacts at night
Description of alternatives, mitigation measures and monitoring programmes.
A Level 4 assessment is identical to a level 3 assessment however it includes complete 3D modelling and simulations, with and without mitigation. Environmental Assurance (Pty) Ltd. (ENVASS) offers a wide range of services, including visual assessments, which can be utilised on your next project. If you may require a proposal for visual assessments please do not hesitate to contact our highly qualified and experienced specialists at ENVASS on 012 460 9768 or firstname.lastname@example.org