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3D models for planning applications

​When a 3D model is required

A 3D model will be required for planning applications involving any scheme for:

  • a new building over 200 square metres
  • any scheme that proposes the construction of more than one building
  • any revised plans application to an approval that provided a 3D model as part of the original submission

We recommended you contact the department before submitting an application to find out if a 3D model is required. Even if a model isn’t required, you can still provide one to support your application. It’s hoped that through the natural development process, the availability of models will eventually exist covering the entire Island.

Access to the 3D model

A 3D model is designed for use by the public to understand proposals, as well as assisting applicants in the preparation of their application and justifying their proposals.

The 3D model will be:

  • freely available for the public to view on the application detail page of the Planning register
  • licensed to architects and developers in order to allow full editing access to the 3D model to assist them with their own developments
  • an assessment tool in determining planning applications

Pre-submission assistance

Pre-submission assistance from Realsim is available free of charge to those who wish to check their model complies with the requirements prior to formally submitting a planning application.  RealSim are also available to applicants at the very start of the design process, to advise, supply mapping and 3D context building data.

It’s an advantage to use the pre-design and submission assistance in order to expedite the model validation process. A planning application won’t be validated until the model submitted meets the technical requirements.

How to submit a 3D model

To submit a 3D model:

  1. Look up site location on States of Jersey map to determine if the context you require is available for free as part of your Digimap license or whether you need to order a tile
  2. If not, or you’re unsure, contact RealSim, to ask for their assistance or advice. If 3D mapping data is required, they’ll compile the data request and get a pricing for you.
  3. You can request 'as is' environment simulation from RealSim (optional extra)
  4. Design building or development and insert into one or more geo-referenced SoJ SketchUp tiles
  5. Send tile to RealSim for pre-submission check ensuring your model meets all items on the checklist below
  6. Submit SketchUp tiles with planning submission. RealSim will be able to validate the model files immediately if they’ve already been checked pre-submission

The pre-submission checks are:

  • model supplied in one or more SoJ 500m SketchUp tiles with terrain and buildings 
  • model contains all buildings within a minimum 50m radius of site boundary
  • a mesh layer containing heights of all vegetation within context area is provided 
  • external facade details only. Remove internal furniture, door handles etc. 
  • proposed model is an efficient file size 
  • all model faces oriented outwards
  • 2D CAD site plan supplied 

Model information

Model detail

Proposed building models should contain external details including building facades but shouldn’t include fine details such as door handles. Furniture and fittings should be removed from internal floors. Models should ideally be less than 200,000 polygons.

Model textures

All models should be textured or coloured with photographs to match as closely as possible the proposed colour scheme. Such textures should be supplied separately in a textures folder. 

Model face orientation

All faces in a model should face outwards. This can be checked by using View-> Face Style -> Monochrome. The following link shows how to change face orientation if some are faced inwards.
How to change SketchUp model face orientation

Using model layers

It’s good practice to divide your model into layers pertaining to different aspects of the proposed development, for example existing and proposed buildings should be separate layers.

Context information

Context model extent

All building proposals must be set within one or more States of Jersey 500m SketchUp tiles which contains all buildings within a minimum 50m zone from the site boundary. This zone of influence may need to increase where it is deemed there is an appreciable visual impact on a neighbouring property beyond 50m from the site boundary. 

Availability of 'off-the-shelf' context terrain, buildings and vegetation 3D model data

States of Jersey 3D SketchUp tiles are available for free to all license holders of the Island’s 2D mapping data. These tiles contain terrain data for all of the Island but 3D buildings and a vegetation height layer is predominately available for the urban centres only, namely St Helier and some others. Outside of the main urban centres, 3D building and vegetation height data coverage is sporadic.

Distribution of 3d building models currently available under annual mapping license

Acquiring new context terrain, buildings and vegetation 3D model data

Where 3D model data of buildings and vegetation does not already exist within the 50m zone of your site boundary, you’ll need to acquire it for inclusion in the relevant SketchUp tile as part of the model submission with your planning application. There is no obligation on how or who acquires this data for you, but it must at least meet the level of detail and accuracy of existing 3D buildings data for the Island.

Cost of 3D models

The States of Jersey 3D and associated terrain models are free to all existing States of Jersey mapping licence holders.

If you don’t hold a mapping license with the States of Jersey, the 3D and associated terrain models will be charged in order to place your model into the States of Jersey 3D model.

If a modification is made to the application which alters the external appearance of the building once it’s submitted to the department, a new model will be required but no additional fee applied.

The fees for mapping data are listed in the current mapping fee schedule.

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