Verified views and landscape visual impact assessment

Verified Views for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments

CartoConsult are experts in Verified View and Photomontage production for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments used in urban development planning applications.

We accurately communicate your proposed designs, whether that be urban or rural developments, large or small to guidelines laid out by Scottish National Heritage and the Landscape Institute to give confidence in the final visualisations.

What are Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments?

Landscape and visual impact assessments (LVIA) are often required as part of the statutory planning process to clearly set out and explain the effects of a development upon the existing landscape and the appearance of such changes in terms of effects on visual amenity. In many cases this process can greatly assist in achieving environmentally sensitive development.

LVIA can be key to planning decisions by identifying the effects of new developments on views and on the landscape itself. Some developments can have visual effects but none on landscape character and some vice versa. A depth of analysis and understanding of these two interrelated aspects is required to produce a successful LVIA.

Marina a verified view
landscape and visual impact assessment example of Linkcity Development

Verified Views for LVIA

CartoConsult were commissioned by Bristol based Landscape Architect, Novell Tullett, to produce 15 Verified Views for Linkcity (formerly Bouygues Development UK) and Bristol City Council.

Verified Views and Photomontages - The Case for Each

Most architects and developers will be aware of architectural photo-montages: CGIs (computer generated images) that have been montaged into photographs to show how a future scheme might look like.

There are many factors and variables that mean the visual accuracy of such images can be questionable.

Verified View photomontage

Verified Views

A Verified View, sometimes known as an Accurate Visual Representation (AVR), uses the same process as a photomontage but with a couple of crucial differences. A Verified View is essentially a Photomontage, with a surveyor used to ensure the highest degree of accuracy at each stage, and the process documented following the Landscape Institute guidelines.

When creating a Verified View, we follow an established methodology to depict the proposed development, in context, with verifiable accuracy; this methodology and data is detailed in the supporting document that we produce to accompany any such views.


A photomontage viewpoint can be selected to show the development at its best whereas a verified view’s viewpoint location often must be selected to show it from sensitive places, usually after consultation with the planning authority.

A Photomontage will often be used for marketing purposes, whereas a Verified View would be required for the more rigorous process of applying for planning. Either may be used in a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) or as an aid to the planning process. Depending on the project we can show your proposal at year 1 and then again at year 10 to highlight the changes made by proposed vegetation.

Roadside landscape visual impact assessment example
CGI cinema photomontage


Unlike photomontages where the 3D model is seamlessly merged with a photograph, full CGIs are completely generated by computer. They are a perfect way to showcase your proposal, are ideal for marketing purposes and can also work as an aid to the design process.

3D City Scape Modelling

CartoConsult create rapid 3D city models for contextual content or for 3D analysis bringing business efficiencies allowing you to move forward with your project quickly and aid planning applications.

Perfect for master planning, land or property development and communication, our 3D models are attributed with intelligent measured data for use in BIM environments. They are interoperable with all mainstream 3D design and GIS software so you can have confidence the value will be realised with every capture.

We can also auto-texture these models for added realism.

City Scape
landscape and visual impact assessment example of flats

Our Verified Views Are Landscape Institute Compliant

Our methodology is compliant with relevant sections of: The Landscape Institute Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment: 3rd edition (April 2013); Landscape Institute Advice Note (January 2011) Photography and Photomontage in Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment and where appropriate, London Plan 2011 Implementation Framework (March 2012) London View Management Framework Supplementary Planning Guidance: Appendix C: Accurate Visual Representations.

Working With CartoConsult

Whether exterior or interior visualisations are needed we work alongside you to choose the right views to exhibit your proposal at its best.

  • Exterior visualisation
  • Interior Visualisation
  • Birdseye view
  • Flythrough – animated view of your proposal

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment Methodology

For ease in determining exactly what you need and to be as cost effective as possible we use a stage based system.
Each stage offers a different output in the final visualisation:

Stage 1: ‘Ghosted’ shaded area showing the extent of the proposal

Stage 3: As Stage 2 with the inclusion of solid colour render showing proposal form (Massing model)

Stage 2: Wireframe showing the size, location & degree of visibility of the proposal

Stage 4: As Stage 3 but fully rendered using proposed materials + lighting to match photograph

Dave Rowe

Dave Rowe, Principle Developer, The Carto Group.

About the Author

Dave is an open data advocate, always looking to deliver as much value as possible from clients data.

Microsoft Certified in cloud Azure stacks, Dave is an awesome GIS Software Engineer that takes web GIS applications to the highest level.

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