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The secret selling power of planning CGI.

January 5, 2024

When it comes to planning, context is everything. Are you utilising the power of planning CGIs?

Author | Paul Skuse, Oakfield Design & Creation

The secret selling power of planning CGI
The planning process is in-depth and complex. It’s mired in bureaucracy, with many moving parts to resolve to achieve a successful outcome.

When it comes to planning, context is everything. If planners can visualise how a development will look at the outset, it can improve your chances of success.
Unfortunately, painting the right picture and selling your vision from simple sketches, 2D architectural drawings and planning documents can be tricky.
It’s hard to bring a scheme to life before the planners’ eyes if they have no way to visualise the scope and scale of what you’re proposing.

Fortunately, there is a solution, and it might be more affordable than you think.
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) plays an increasingly central role in the planning process.

When done right, CGI can provide planners with a more realistic view of what a project might look like, and the impact the design and construction might have on its surroundings.

This not only provides stakeholders with a better understanding of how the proposed scheme can enhance an area but can also speed up the decision-making process by helping planners understand all the potential benefits.
Here, we take a closer look at the secret selling power of CGI and how it can support your next planning application.

What is planning CGI?
Planning GCI – or architectural visualisation – is essential for presenting proposals to the planning authorities. As its name suggests, planning CGI involves applying digital technology to create images and visual effects. While CGI has been around for a long time, planning CGI is becoming more sophisticated and accessible.

With digital technology, property developers can create photo-realistic 2D and 3D renderings of sketches and architectural drawings, to give people a quick understanding of the concept and visual impact of a proposed scheme.
Designers and architects can explore different colours, finishes, materials and textures to see which works best, while lighting can be changed to show how a building might look at different times of the day or night. You can also create visualisations of a proposed scheme from multiple angles, to present a complete understanding of how it will sit within its environment and the visual impact it might have.

This can not only help planners visualise the potential impact of a scheme, but also help to allay the fears of residents, community stakeholders and other interested third parties.

The benefits of planning CGI
Planning CGI offers many benefits. Here are some of the ways you can harness its secret selling power:

Sell your vision
CGI is an extremely persuasive selling tool. Well-presented and professional planning CGIs can help you create a lasting impact and sell your concept to planners, funders, investors, potential buyers and even any colleagues who may not have fully bought into your vision.

Support tenders
Utilising photo-realistic CGI renders will help speed up the planning process, but can also help when tendering. It can help close the distance between the contractor’s quote and the developer’s requirements and set realistic expectations all round.

Tell the right story
When it comes to securing planning consent, effective storytelling is everything. It’s all about setting the scene, demonstrating context and then providing visual reassurance that the proposed development won’t negatively impact the surrounding area. In most instances, it’s also about showing how a development can actually benefit an area. This is very tricky to do with traditional architectural drawings. CGI excels at creating an aspirational vision and the lifestyle that goes with it. It’s an essential part of the planning side of things and the overall marketing/branding strategy for your scheme.

Quality control
CGI can help designers, architects, and developers identify and iron out any potential problems or challenges at the design stage. You can experiment with different colours, textures, materials and finishes to perfect the scheme and assure quality before it’s presented to planners and other external stakeholders.

This helps speed up the process considerably and means you’ll probably be equipped with the right information to answer any queries or concerns, as you’ll have already worked everything out beforehand.

How can Oakfield help?
Securing a successful planning outcome is all about convincing the planners of how your proposed scheme with benefit the local area. It’s about providing context, telling the right story and backing it up with compelling visual evidence to get people on board.

That’s where Oakfield can help. With more than 30 years’ experience in the property development sector, we understand the planning process and how to navigate it successfully.

We help property developers, architects and consultants obtain planning permission for residential and commercial developments with high-quality, persuasive yet affordable CGI visualisations that enhance planning applications and give them the best chance of success.

View our latest Planning CGI projects here, or call us today to learn more about our services and how we can support your next project.

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