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Scenic amenity

The assessment of ‘local amenity and aesthetic impact of particular building work’ is the responsibility of local government. The State Planning Policy (SPP) includes planning and development policies for maintaining scenic amenity on the coast. 

Local government is best placed to make decisions about whether future development is in keeping with preferred scenic characteristics of particular localities, and what development activities can be undertaken at these places.

The Scenic Preference Rating Assessment Tool (SPRAT) is used to calculate the scenic preference of an area, both pre and post-development. The following links provide information and access to software programs to assist in the determination of a scenic preference rating:

  • Watch a training presentation (see availability) illustrating the steps involved with the assessment process. 
  • Determining scenic preference in the coastal zone guideline (PDF, 411K) provides a step by step guide to determining scenic preference in the coastal zone.
  • ImageJ software is a program that enables the user to measure the area of a polygon. ImageJ is free to download, and is available for several platforms.
  • ImageJ instructions (PDF, 75K) will assist new users to download and navigate the program.
  • This Excel worksheet (Excel, 35K)* provides a template for calculating the scenic preference rating (SPR) of a view as shown in a photograph. The worksheet automatically generates percentages of visual elements once the measured polygon areas have been entered.
  • SPRAT (Scenic Preference Rating Assessment Tool) is the spreadsheet that will produce the SPR number once the user has input percentages of visual elements (using figures generated from the Excel worksheet).

For more information email .

Available from the library catalogue

The documents referred to on this page are available from the department’s online library catalogue.

* Requires Microsoft Office files viewer

Last reviewed
15 September 2016
Last updated
4 December 2013