The Multi-Viewing, Multi-Channel, Multi-Polarisation Imager (3MI) is an imaging radiometer for the ESA/Eumetsat MetOp-SG programme. Based on the heritage of POLDER/PARASOL, 3MI will collect global observations of the top-of-atmosphere polarised bi-directional reflectance distribution function in 12 spectral bands, by observing the same target from multiple views using a push-broom scanning concept. In order to mitigate any technological risks associated with the 3MI instrument development, an Elegant Breadboard of representative form, function and performance to the 3MI VNIR lens was foreseen in the frame of the Optics Pre- Development (OPD) activity. The optical design and the performance results of the OPD VNIR lens are presented, from the top level requirements flow-down to the optical design solution and concept adopted. The large FOV and image irradiance uniformity, the extended VNIR spectral range, combined with the demanding polarisation and stray-light requirements are the main design drivers. The design concept is based on a Galilean telescope coupled to a focusing group. The aperture stop, placed in between, is located in such a way that the system is telecentric in image space. The system exhibits a fine control of the entrance pupil size as a function of the FOV, low distortion and correction of lateral chromatic aberration. Polarisation related performances are achieved by low polarisation sensitivity and low retardance anti-reflection coatings, as well as by a proper selection of glass material properties.