3D Modelling and VU.CITY

3D modelling is used within the Planning and Place Making Service to help assess planning applications, inform pre-application discussions and develop future planning policies. It is considered an integral part of delivering good design.  Alongside plans, elevations and other planning information, 3D modelling is a tool used to scrutinize appropriateness of proposed form, scale, layout, views, cumulative impacts alongside environmental impacts. 

You can use 3D modelling:

The Council use VU.CITY software to analysis 3d models as it provides an interactive view of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (RBK).

VU.CITY London is an accurate digital 3D model of London that is managed and maintained independently of the council. VU.CITY London includes:

  • a fully interactive 3D model of RBK;
  • an accurate city model including terrain (roofscape accuracy to 15cm);
  • sunlight and shadowing simulation, street level walk mode, transport overlays, set and view cameras and view GIS data;
  • RBK highly important views and verified views, and
  • integration of proposed projects to assess the cumulative impact of proposals.

Applicants and developers are encouraged to use VU.CITY to support their planning application and inform the pre-application process. To find out more about the model, visit VU.CITY London. Applicants and Developers may submit a 3d model outside of VU.CITY but the file must be a geolocated, FBX (see below) model. 


There is a £500 (exc VAT) charge that is applicable to all proposals that sits outside PPA’s or other planning agreement to cover the review of models. This is a one off payment that covers the application from PRE application through to FUL application (this is based on one leading to the other), if multiply seperate PRE applications are considered there will be a cost for each. Using the VU.CITY model will aid in the choice of views, reducing the number of verified views required as part of assessing the proposals visual impact (possible effect: positive, negative, significant or minor).


The Placemaking team will send out an invoice with payment details. 

Verified Views

Kingston’s 13 highly important views are all viewable in the VU.CITY application.

Read the Views Study

Submitting a model?

How to prepare a file for import

VU.CITY is a visualisation tool, designed for assessing scale and impact. It is not designed to handle full BIM models therefore we request a simple massing model for import. The model must:

  • be geolocated in OS space;
  • have a low polycount; and 
  • be saved/ exported in FBX file format (a common export across most modelling platforms). Size Limit: 128MB per file

Send your FBX. models or share your VU.CITY model with placemaking@kingston.gov.uk and the relevant Urban Design Officer cc'ing in you DM case officer. Please ensure it has your application number and revision number as a reference. 

If you have any questions on formats, please contact VU.CITY tech support team on 0808 168 3931 or support@vu.city.

Noticed issues with VU.CITY model? 

Please advise VU.CITY and the Councils Place Making team of any issues you notice with the model.

Last Modified: 29/03/2022 11:03:15