Expert Assessment

Landscape Character and Visual Impact Assessment

Balancing subjectivity with science

This issue is by nature subjective, and for the past twenty years CLOUSTON has sought to provide measurable best practice outcomes across Australia and overseas, focusing on the clarity of communication. Our aim is to assist the planning process by introducing more qualitative parameters to a complex area.

Using simple graphics, 3D modelling and plain English reporting, we have developed a methodology that can be applied to a range of assessment types, including broad-scale land-use planning, view loss and view sharing.

Core elements of these services include:

  • Preparation of Landscape Character Studies or Scenic Management Plans for a locality or local government area
  • Assistance in preparing VIA methodologies to be applied through a planning instrument such as a Development Control Plan
  • Assistance in preparing specific development controls relating to visual impact
  • Preparation of Expert Witness Statements for the Land and Environment Court.

Expert Witness/Professional Opinion

Experience gives the edge

From time to time, planning disputes arise over proposed and existing developments that can only be resolved through the courts. In these cases, an expert opinion will usually be sought from a qualified practitioner in the relevant field.

At CLOUSTON, our senior staff have more than twenty years’ experience in providing Expert Witness services to the NSW Land and Environment Court on matters ranging from Landscape Character and Visual Impact Assessment (LCVIA) and Universal Access to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Likewise, clients who are in contractual or other legal dispute over constructed landscape works with third parties will periodically seek a Professional Opinion from CLOUSTON on legislative compliance and best practice design, particularly where an injury claim or other damages may have arisen.

Central to our approach to all of these services is rigorous preparation, absolute objectivity and a desire to resolve matters through mediation and joint conferencing wherever practical.

Core elements of these services include:

  • Detailed site evaluation and document analysis
  • Preparation of Expert Witness/Professional Opinion statements
  • Liaison with legal representatives and commissioning party
  • Attendance and submission of evidence at court
  • Joint conferencing/resolution with third parties.