Glossary & Definitions


Table A7.1 below provides a glossary of the abbreviations used in the guidance.  It is followed by definitions of key words used within this report for clarity.

Table A7.1: Glossary Table

AOB Area of Outstanding Beauty
AOD Above Ordnance Datum
AONB Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
DCfW Design Commission for Wales
GLVIA Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment22
kW Kilowatt
LCA Landscape Character Area
LCT Landscape Character Type
LDP Local Development Plan
LSA Landscape Strategy Area
LU Landscape Unit
MW Megawatt
NRW Natural Resources Wales (formerly the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW)
PPW Planning Policy Wales
SLA Special Landscape Area
SNH Scottish Natural Heritage
SPG Supplementary Planning Guidance
SSA Strategic Search Area
SSA A Strategic Search Area A (Clocaenog Forest)
TAN Technical Advice Note
ZTV Zone of Theoretical Visibility

22 Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment Second edition (GLVIA) (The Landscape Institute and the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment 2002) replaced by GLVIA Third Edition in April 2013.


For the purposes of this study, the following definitions are taken from (or closely based on) the guidance referred to in Stage One of the Methodology (Section 2) :

Landscape is an area as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors23. GVLIA notes that the term does not only mean landscapes that are recognised as being special or valuable but is also about the ordinary and the everyday landscapes where people live and work, and spend their leisure time.  This includes rural landscapes, seascapes and townscapes.

Landscape Sensitivity is related to landscape character and how susceptible this is to change.  Landscapes which are highly sensitive are at risk of having their key characteristics fundamentally altered, leading to a different landscape character.  Sensitivity varies according to the type of development proposed (in this case wind energy) and the landscape’s individual elements, features and characteristics.

Landscape Character Type (LCT) are distinct types of landscape that are relatively homogeneous in character. They are generic in nature in that they may occur in different areas in different parts of the country, but wherever they occur they share broadly similar combinations of geology, topography, drainage patterns, vegetation and historical land use and settlement pattern24

Landscape Character Area (LCA) are single unique areas which are the discrete geographical areas of a particular landscape type.25

Landscape Units have been devised for the purpose of this report in lieu of a consistent landscape character assessment across the study area.  The landscape units are primarily based on discrete geographical areas of the landscape types identified in the Clwyd Landscape Assessment undertaken in 1995 and are broadly representative of different character areas of the landscape.  These areas are not formally recognised as LCAs, therefore the term landscape unit has been used.

Landscape Strategy Areas have been identified purely for the purpose of this report, in order to assign broad landscape objectives and to assess indicative overall capacity for wind energy developments.  The Landscape Strategy Areas are relatively large geographical areas that have been formed following a review of the landscape unit’s sensitivity assessments, supplemented by an analysis of broad landscape character, intervisibility, key visual receptors, topography (including ridgelines and water-sheds based on LANDMAP information), Ordnance Survey and GIS data, observations made during field studies and discussions with the Steering Group.

Visual Sensitivity reflects the views people have of the landscape and the effects of change on those views.  When a landscape is changed, there is a probability that it will be seen by someone and often by several groups of people.  This may affect both specific views and have an effect on the overall outlook (visual amenity) that people enjoy.  Visual sensitivity depends both on the nature of the potential development as well as the nature of peoples’ specific views and visual amenity.  It also reflects the numbers and types of people who are likely to perceive the landscape and the extent to which they can accept change without perceiving effects upon their view to be negative. 

Landscape Value is defined as the relative value that is attached to different landscapes by society and is often reflected in designation.  Where this is the case it is important to understand what aspects of the landscape led to its designation and how these might be affected by potential development. 

Landscape Capacity relates to how much change arising from wind energy development can be accommodated without unacceptable adverse effects on the character or perception of the landscape and without compromising any values attached to it.

Landscape Scale in relation to the evaluation of landscape units relates to the relationship of key elements or spaces of each landscape unit, such as woodland or open space, within the whole landscape. This does not refer merely to the size of the landscape unit. It may be that a small landscape unit is assessed to be vast in scale as it is a small part of a continuous whole such as a mountain range or extensive forest. In contrast smaller scale landscapes may typically comprise elements and spaces of a community scale such as hamlets, woodland clearings, small field or woodland units.

Cumulative Effects ‘the additional changes caused by a proposed development in conjunction with other similar developments or as the combined effect of a set of developments taken together’.

Cumulative Landscape Effects ‘can impact on either the physical fabric or character of the landscape, or any special values attached to it’.

Cumulative Visual Effects can be caused by combined visibility, which ‘occurs where the observer is able to see two or more developments from one viewpoint’ and/or sequential effects which ‘occur when the observer has to move to another viewpoint to see different developments26.

Tranquillity is defined as the quality of calm experienced in places with mainly natural features and activates, free from disturbance from manmade ones27.

23 Council of Europe, 2000 as set out in GLVIA Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment Second edition (GLVIA) (The Landscape Institute and the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment 2002) replaced by GLVIA Third Edition in April 2013

24Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment Third Edition (GLVIA3) (The Landscape Institute and the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment 2013)

25As reference 24 above.

26 Cumulative Effects, Cumulative Landscape Effects and Cumulative Visual Effects definitions taken from SNH (2012) Assessing the cumulative impact of onshore wind energy development, Inverness: Scottish Natural Heritage