SenSat | Berkeley Group Case Study



Infrastructure Design Programmes



SenSat have created a high definition digital simulation of  

a 900 acre site as part of the multi-million pound Milton Keynes East development to support Berkeley Group in submitting a successful planning application 

Peter Slater

7.02.2019 // 3 minute read

The multi-million pound Milton Keynes East development will result in the delivery of 5,000 new homes, the creation of 6,500 jobs and unprecedented economic growth. Berkeley Group are the lead developers on this large mixed use development.

The Challenges

The project came with a number of challenges. Obtaining topographical data for this vast site was essential to supplement the technical design work required to support the allocation of the site in the Milton Keynes Plan MK. Obtaining this level of data using traditional means would have meant a programme of up to 6 months and numerous agreements with landowners, tenants and Highways England.


Political “interest” mounted extra pressure on the client to get preliminary design completed before the end of the year. 

Also, the safety of people involved in the project was important to the client, who wanted to avoid any personal interaction with the adjacent M1. Technical challenges had also occurred, as the existing site imagery and topography data were outdated and misleading. Therefore, highly accurate 2D and 3D topography data outputs were required - accurate to +-50mm - which was challenging due to many variables.


Lastly, the client needed to easily and securely share output data with multiple consultants whilst being able to track access and sharing of data, in compliance with client’s ISO 27001 accreditation.

The Solution

SenSat successfully digitised the entire development area while delivering the highest detail model of the site ever created. It also provided engineering firm WSP with the technical information required to design strategic infrastructure, thus helping Berkeley Group work towards securing planning permission.

SenSat’s use of autonomous mapping drones and Extended Visual Line of Sight permission allowed to capture data of high accuracy quickly and safely, while eliminating the need for constant landowner engagement.

SenSat’s cloud-based platform, Mapp® allowed the client to discuss and manage the project in a virtual and intuitive way, which is also easily shareable to various sources, and offers the avenue to engage all the stakeholders involved.

The Benefits 


Faster: Using autonomous mapping drones to digitise the site allowed SenSat to speed up the data capture phase by 6 months and removed the need to continually establish new agreements with landowners, tenants and Highways England. 

Collaboration: Time and efforts of both Berkeley designers and project managers were saved by having the entire 6km² point cloud available to view and interact with on Mapp®. Since the data is all in one place and accessible anywhere, it means face-to-face meetings can hold as remote meetings.

Moving forward


All data is hosted in formats that can be integrated directly into existing design software such as Autodesk and Bentley.


Mapp® can host, combine, and share point clouds up to 1bn points in a single platform, on a standard Wifi connection. This ability was invaluable to the project, as the client required over 30 team members to view the data, but wanted to avoid committing to costly, proprietary software.

Mapp® can host geo-referenced 2D Orthomosaics and 3D surface models, which means that the client can draw new CAD directly on the aerial data, and take measurements using a suite of standard engineering measurement tools within the software.

SenSat’s drone data capture service and software Mapp enabled us to accelerate the infrastructure design programme whilst also providing a powerful tool for future public consultation. Aaron Wadhams, Berkeley Strategic Land Technical Director

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