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Nottingham City Council develops 3D visualisation prototype for planning process


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Planning scheme visualisation
Image source: Esri UK

Nottingham City Council has developed a prototype 3D visualisation tool for site assessments in planning.

The tool brings together all the relevant data into one 3D environment taking in the proposed planning scheme, conservation areas, site allocations, flood risk and tree cover.

It has enabled planning teams to conduct 3D assessments of various constraints on a site along with visual impact assessment.

The council is now planning to make the tool fully operational and create some showcase demonstrators to engage with internal business areas.

The tool has been developed under a pilot project with funds from a competition organised last year by geospatial information system provider Esri UK.

Advancing possibilities

Mick Dunn, Nottingham’s GIS service manager, said: “The pilot has significantly advanced our 3D development skills, created new 3D data generation and manipulation techniques and shown how it’s possible to have a 3D environment which can easily integrate with our existing datasets.

“Overall, the project has proved that 3D planning is possible from any browser at the right performance levels.

“The benefits are varied, from understanding what a building will look like in situ and trying different view corridors to assess its visual impact, to examining master planning issues, flood risk assessments or potential solar energy sites. The 3D visualisations can also be used to gain public feedback or other parties using images and fly-throughs.” 

He added: “The long term goal is to provide a versatile 3D environment that we are able to easily deploy and operationalise to support the needs of our business and customers, improving operational performance and enhancing customer service delivery.”

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