Verified Views AVR for Landscape and Visual Impact assessment (LVIA)

The Carto Group are experts in Verified View (sometimes known as AVR) 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.


 Verified Views for LVIA

The Carto Group were commisioned by Bristol based Landscape Architect, Novell Tullett, to produce 15 Verified Views for Linkcity (formerly Bouygues Development UK) and Bristol City Council. Click the button to read a real project example.


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.

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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.

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 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.

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A photomontage viewpoint can be selected to show the development at its best whereas a verified views 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.

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 Computer Generated Image (CGI)

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.

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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.


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:

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

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

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

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


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