A Glasgow-based company has developed a mobile phone-app which can provide visual images of proposed wind turbines at the design stage, in situ and at the planning stage.
Developed by Linknode, the app was used live for the first time by architects Brindley Associates, on a single turbine project at Auchenlosh, near Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway.
The project is being developed by Inazin, and supported by Edinburgh based Energised Environments and Linknode claim that efficiency savings of more than 40% have been achieved by landscape architects using the UK’s first mobile visual impact assessment app which can now assess the cumulative effect of onshore wind turbines.
The new cumulative impact assessment tool draws on a database of 28,500 turbine locations across the UK. Access to the national turbine dataset makes cumulative capture easier, faster and cheaper. A search around proposed new sites will immediately return details for all relevant existing and planned wind farms.
Typically, the process of cumulative assessment by developers or planners can be extremely costly, involving numerous time-consuming searches. This can make small projects prohibitively expensive and delay large developments, due to complexity.
Ross Wilkie, director, Brindley Associates said, “Our deadline for completing the visual assessments on the Auchenlosh project was very tight and our in house cumulative database for the area was not fully up to date. Adding the new cumulative assessment tool to our previously purchased VentusAR app allowed us to turn the landscape and visual impact assessment around very quickly to meet the deadline. We saved several days of consultancy time on what is a relatively small project, so the benefits in terms of time and cost saving are significant”.
Wilkie also confirmed that his firm is now using VentusAR on all its wind farm projects.
Crispin Hoult, Director, Linknode said, “As the number of existing and proposed wind farms across the UK continues to grow, the challenge of assessing cumulative visual impact has become increasingly time consuming and expensive for all of those involved in the development and assessment of wind farm planning applications.”