Visualisation of development

The ability to represent the landscape or townscape that exists and any proposed changes to it is important for the landscape profession. Visual representations or ‘visualisations’ are a good means of doing this but they must fairly represent what people would perceive in the field. The sophistication of visualisation technique also needs to be proportionate to factors such as purpose, use, user, sensitivity of the situation and magnitude of potential effect.

Following an extensive process a TGN 06/19 Visual Representation of development proposals was published on 17 September 2019 in support of GLVIA3 by members of the Landscape Institute (LI) Technical Committee, in consultation with LI members and technical experts experienced in photography, photomontage and landscape and visual impact assessment.

This new Guidance Note replaces LI Advice Note 01/11, ‘Advice on Photography and Photomontage’ (withdrawn) and Technical Guidance Note 02/17, ‘Visual Representation of Development Proposals’ (withdrawn) as supplementary guidance to GLVIA3.

The new Guidance Note is also supported by a series of Technical Information Notes:

TIN 07/19 Visual Representation Glossary

TIN 08/19 Camera Auto Settings

TIN 09/19 Earth Curvature

A summary of the process:

The previous supplementary guidance to GLVIA3 was known as 01/11 Photography-Photomontage There were additional notes associated with this that answered questions.

To develop updated supplementary guidance, meetings took place with, and comments were received from, the LI Technical Committee and other interested parties, including public sector representatives. This was a slow and deliberate process over a number of years.

As thinking developed, an additional LI Guidance Note TGN 02/17 Visual-Representation (also sometimes known as ‘Proportionality’ guidance) was produced to direct clients, regulators and practitioners towards an appropriate choice of technique when seeking visual representations of developments.

A consultation draft of updated supplementary guidance was produced in June 2018. (View the 2018 public consultation draft here.) Over fifty responses were received from practitioners and public authorities. Many respondents commented on the need for striking an appropriate balance between the principles of TGN 02/17 and ensuring that any visualisations were fit for purpose, depending on their role and use in the planning, development and consenting process, and including, when necessary, appropriate verifications. Significant changes were made in response to the consultation and following further expert input the result was a single, new LI Technical Guidance Note on the topic, which considers a range of approaches to visualisation. This guidance combines content from TGN 02/17 with a thorough update of 01/11.

At the point of publication of 06/19, 02/17 and 01/11 were withdrawn. They remain available for reference. It is the LI’s view that the new guidance 06/19 should apply to new commissions undertaken from 17 Sep 2019 onwards, but a reasonable grace period will apply, and reasonable judgements should be made by practitioners over implications of the changeover.

The new guidance is dedicated to the late Mark Turnbull, former chair of the LI Technical Committee.

For more information on this topic review the Technical Resources Section. Or, please email us: technical@landscapeinstitute.org.