ASH appraised and assessed the landscape and visual impact of the planned upgrade and extension to the East Coast transmission line

Scottish Hydro Electrical Transmission plc (SHE Transmission) are upgrading the existing East Coast transmission line from Blackhillock to Blairingone from 275 kV to 400 kV. The project includes upgrades and extensions to an existing substation, and the development of new substations.

Key Tasks

Site options appraisal

Landscape and visual impact assessment


Landscape mitigation

Stakeholder consultation


What we did

ASH undertook a “high level” landscape and visual appraisal of each substation site and the proposed Line Diversion route at Keith. This overview informed the selection of Preferred Site Options. The chosen sites were then assessed for landscape and visual effects over a study area of 5 km.

ASH also produced landscape mitigation proposals for the substations and used in-house photomontages to illustrate these.

Alyth Substation; situated in a low-level agricultural landscape and partly screened to the north by existing tree groups, the main potential visual receptors lie to the east and with this in mind, earth mounding and native tree planting were proposed along this side of the development. Off-site mitigation planting was also proposed for the two closest residential receptors.

Rothienorman Substation; situated in higher, more rolling agricultural landscape near Inverurie and part-screened to the east by a woodland block. Terraced into a low hillside to the north, earth mounding and native tree planting were proposed to the south and west sides of the development in order to reduce landscape and visual effects in these directions.

Kintore Substation Expansion; situated close to the village of Kintore but well-screened by local woodland and topography in all directions except the north, earth mounding and native tree planting were proposed  in order to reduce visual effects upon residential receptors in this direction.

This work involved consultations with the local authority and residents at a series of meetings.  All three substation sites were subsequently granted Planning Consent in 2012.


Find out more

We’re always happy to answer your questions. If you’d like to find out more about the services we can offer for your project, you can email us on or call 0141 227 3388.