Nottingham’s planners get access to 3D city map technology
Nottingham has secured a £375,000 government grant to modernise its planning application process through the use of 3D technology. The money, provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, will be used to enhance the city’s cutting-edge system for mapping in three dimensions. Nottingham is one of 27 local planning authorities participating in a £3.2m scheme through the PropTech Innovation Fund.
According to Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Planning at Nottingham City Council, the project aims to make it easier for people to engage in the planning process, increase the transparency of decision-making, and speed up the time taken from application to formal decision. “We have a proven track record of successfully delivering funding bids and we look forward to working with colleagues at Bradford on this innovative project,” said Kotsonis.
The city council has already been using some elements of 3D technology to inform planning decisions, but the new funding will enable it to take this much further. The University of Nottingham has been a key stakeholder in the successful funding bid, which will add to the suite of 3D technologies the City Council will use.
“The university has developed an innovative Projection Augmented Relief Model (PARM) that brings maps and models to life. It consists of a three-dimensional model of the city centre which can be adapted through the projection of map-based data from above,” explained Kotsonis.
From a planning perspective, the technology could be used to demonstrate exactly how a new building or development would look and fit alongside the existing infrastructure. “Using this new mapping capability will increase public involvement in consultations because this enables us, as the planning authority, to ultimately make decisions which are fully informed and take views from all sides,” said Kotsonis.
The council will work with suppliers, partner local planning authorities, and other stakeholders to co-create a range of resources in the form of enhanced 3D tools, 3D data, demonstrators, and support and learning material.
In partnership with Bradford Council, Nottingham will improve the planning process as applicants, planning officers, councillors and the public will be able to view accurate, real-life images of how a proposed development will look within the existing built environment.
“The project will be a game-changer for how we plan and make decisions about our city’s future,” said Councillor Adele Williams, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Bradford Council. “By collaborating with Nottingham and harnessing the power of 3D technology, we can help to increase transparency, boost public engagement and make the planning process quicker and more efficient.”
Overall, the use of 3D technology in the planning process promises to bring many benefits, from greater public engagement to improved decision-making and increased transparency. As the technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how local authorities across the UK use it to shape the future of their cities.