CGI 4 Planning views
NPPF9 encourages the use of innovative visual tools in planning applications. You may still need to submit a stack of reports but the objectors always latch onto the visuals. So worth considering the views very carefully, if the design fits and works with the local environment, then why not show it and give the public peace of mind.
Do you need verified views?
How accurate do you need to be? Nobody wants planning consent for a project that cannot be delivered because the images were wrong or misleading. By the same token, nobody wants to spend money on unnecessary work, after all, 2D drawings have served the planning system well, so why the need for verified views.
If the scheme has been designed well and genuinely fits in, credit to the designers, but if it is complex or in a sensitive location, can the local authorities, and occupiers easily understand the 2d drawings and will it help to visualise. Do not think everyone works in the property industry and can read 2d plans like a conductor can read music.
In example above, the proposed development was a series of buildings that had yet to be fully designed. A simple red outline would be practically invisible at this range so the semi-transparent fill gives a more solid look. Red lines were then used to show the maximum impact of rooftop plant rooms.( again yet to be designed so a worst case volume was felt better than none at all). If you compare this visual treatment to the surrounding buildings the block format is a reasonable depiction of the possible view. Note the distortion in the foreground due to the stitching together to form a panoramic view.
( copyright H4 2006)
Local objectors are good at marking a ‘guesstimate’ of how a project may rise behind a hedgerow or bank of trees.
We plot the site levels in front and behind the trees, and build the topography in 3D, reducing the inaccuracies and providing a more accurate representation to placate the objectors. What may appear on a 2d drawing as big bulky and offensive, usually has been designed to blend in and respect the landscape. Like this scheme for SOM architects.
When a local authority is not expecting verified accurate views we have developed our own Verified LITE (copyright H4 2006) which comes with the methodology to highlight the variables and possible tolerances and demonstrates the views were produced by a professional company, not a mickey mouse studio ( although we are great fans of Pixar and Disney and their contribution to CGI animation).
Verified Views- Landscape visual impact assesement
Key views exist in any town or village and the threat of harming those views can be a key topic at a planning application. Mocking up a view has to consider many variables; the height and location of the site,the height and location of the camera,the camera lens and focal length,image distortion or keying on close up views,image distortion and overlap on panoramic views,time of year and vegetation ( leaves on or off trees, hedgerows etc),time of day and sunlight
Guidance on the methodology is given at the Landscape Institute, and more and more local authorities are recognising the need to create a comprehensive study of accurate views.
Despite the guidance, the CGI industry remains unregulated and there are some studios that might cheat or fudge the views. H4 Group is regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (R.I.C.S) and will offer advice on the methodology and tolerances that can be achieved, and the best approach depending on the sensitivity of the site. If verified views are required by the local planning authority, we accurately measure the location of the camera, the site and model in the proposed scheme to create true views of where the development will sit.
It is not necessary to use verified views for every planning application and we have developed our own Verified LITE (copyright H4 2006) which comes with the methodology to highlight the variables and possible tolerances. (see above)
Concept massing walkthrough
Moving around a project can give a bettter idea of the flow and how the buildings will fit into the environment.
At the very early stages of a project the mere thought of new development will be met with some individuals or organisations resisting change. A gentle walkthrough the project helps to explain the concept and approximate massing, plactating the instant objector.