Sun Studies: More often than not, the sun study is part of a great many other factors, such as traffic and wind analysis, wildlife, etc… it falls under the Environmental Statement. We have only ever done one sun study that dis-proved a case that a neighbour brought against a private house being built in Alderley Edge. The neighbour believed that the new house next door to him would restrict his ‘right to light’. Of course there would be issues with ambient light, but the sun study proved that there was no ‘shadow’ impact due to the orientation of the site. (It doesn’t mean his light was restricted, as his view of the sky would still have been diminished).
In the case of tall buildings ‘right to light’ will always be an issue, particularly in heritage, and residential sites.
Visual Impact: encapsulates view, consideration, suitability, use, and symapthy for the area… The Environmental Statement refers to wildlife, light, wind, traffic etc… The Design Statement (where we are also involved) will then refer to the aesthetics, and the rationalisation for the proposal. The Visual Impact Analysis (VIA), where we do most of our work – referred to as Visually Verified Montages (VVM), will refer to all the visual aspects of a development, whether it is from key distance views (ZVI or Zones of Visual Influence), or from immediate points that are sensitive to the area, and may have been highlighted by the local planners.
Sorry about all those acronyms… 🙂