Planning applications are often informed by technical reports, but an essential element of the planning submission is the visual presentation of the scheme.  The saying goes ‘It’s all in the presentation’ and in our experience, the most successful schemes are those that are high quality and presented in the best possible light. There are various presentation options available to:
  1. Promote your scheme,
  2. Demonstrate that it has been well thought out at each stage of its inception; and
  3. Communicate the scheme merits to the wider audience.
The presentation techniques you use will depend upon the stage of the process.  Described briefly below are some of the most common plans and illustrations that we are asked to prepare, along with when and how they can be best used to inform and support your scheme:
Constraints and opportunities plans: Particularly helpful at the early stages, this helps you optimise use of your site, identifying areas that are best avoided and those that have the best opportunities for development.
Visibility modelling and viewpoint photographs: Modelling of ‘zones of theoretical visibility shows the theoretical extent to which development on the site is likely to be visible. This can be presented with photographs that locate the site, demonstrating visibility within the landscape.
General arrangement plans: These present the overall composition of a scheme and are normally accompanied by detailed plans, sections and elevations; designed to show the scheme in a number of different ways.
Visualisations: Are increasingly requested by planning authorities to understand and reliably assess new structures in their surroundings. There are various options available:
  • 3D massing wireframes, perhaps the most cost effective option which can be used to help with early design discussions and consultations.
  • Rendered models build on the basic wireframe, adding texture and colour.  These can be prepared to present your development in the best possible light, useful for consultation and promotional materials.
  • Accurate Visual Representations (Type 4) or ‘Verified Views’ are rigorously prepared to conform with industry assessment guidance*.  In their most sophisticated form they can give a very useful impression of how a completed development would look in its environment under specific lighting and weather conditions.
It is important to check which plans and illustrations will be required by your local planning authority to accompany the planning application.  It’s also important to consider how much detail needs to be provided, for example ‘Outline’ planning applications often have most detail ‘reserved’ and plans submitted therefore only need to show general principles or parameters.  ‘Full’ planning applications are often supported by more plans that set out the detail of the scheme for which approval is sought. Whatever your scheme, The Landmark Practice’s in-house graphics team  offers a comprehensive range of graphics and visualisation services to our clients.  These are often incorporated as part of our multidisciplinary service, but can also be instructed as a stand-alone commission. Our clients benefit from our design-led understanding of the key steps of the scheme development process which we use to inform representation of proposals through the consenting process. For more information or to discuss our visualisation service please contact us on or call 01179230455. *Refer also to our blog  ‘Visual Representation of Development Proposals for further details on the latest Landscape Institute guidance, the different types of visualisations we offer and how these might be used to support a planning application.