Using viewshed analysis for development proposals, planning applications and appeals

viewshed analysis on proposed development planning

The team at Plainview Planning are pleased to be able to offer a new service that all our clients can now benefit from which will enable us to present the theoretical visibility of proposed and existing developments using our GIS mapping systems. This is known as viewshed analysis.

What is viewshed analysis?

A viewshed is essentially an area that is visible from a specific location. Our team use viewshed analysis to plot all the possible places where you can see a proposed development from (otherwise known as a Zone of Theoretical Visibility). This helps to assess and understand the impact of a proposed development on the surrounding views and this quantitative approach can help local communities and councils be sure that any landscape harm is appropriate or provides sufficient landscaping mitigation.

The process uses bespoke GIS software and topographical datasets from the Environment Agency and Ordnance Survey. We then set the height of the proposed development and the height of the person looking back at the site.

To ensure absolute accuracy, the process allows for atmospheric refraction and the curvature of the earth. It also takes into account any existing trees, hedgerows or buildings.

Why use viewshed analysis in planning?

Visual analysis forms a key part of planning applications for development projects. More than that, this service is not only great for assessing the visibility of a proposal, but also for sequential site allocation assessments for local and/or neighbourhood plans.

This is just one example of many, where Plainview seeks to harness technology to enhance your chances of securing planning permission. For more innovation see our PlanTech page: Plainview PlanTech 

The team at Plainview are always alert to new ways of using technology to assist in planning and development schemes, improve the built environment and de-risk the planning system for our clients.  If you have a site that you think may be suitable for development, contact Caroline to discuss how we can help you on your next project, via or call us on 01242 501003 to see how we can best assist you, providing the site address and a brief overview of your project.  You can also submit your site via our Landmark Page. We value your privacy and any information which you provide will not be shared outside of our company and will only be used in relation to your enquiry.

IMAGE SOURCE: Plainview Planning Ltd. 2019