The Design Network, of which Design South East is a member, is working with Homes England through the site disposal, procurement and planning processes to support the delivery of places that ensure the health and wellbeing of local communities, using the Building for a Healthy Life (BHL) toolkit. So far, Design South East has assessed six sites across the south east, in Kent, Essex, Oxfordshire, Milton Keynes and Hertfordshire.

Building for a Healthy Life (BHL) updates England’s most widely used design tool for creating places that are better for people and nature, Building for Life 12 (BFL). The original 12-point structure and underlying principles are at the heart of BHL, which is endorsed in National Planning Policy as a tool ‘for assessing and improving the design of development’ (NPPF 21, Chapter 12, paragraph 133). Homes England, the country’s national housing enabler, has adopted BHL as its principal test for whether proposals are of good enough quality to warrant land sales or investment support and is working with the Design Network to design in quality from the start:

“Homes England have worked closely with Design Network to assess the BHL scores on a phase of development at Tattenhoe Park, Milton Keynes. As a result of the great collaboration over the last 6 months, and constructive and detailed critique from Design Network, our preferred bidder has been able to increase the design quality of their proposed scheme, which will ultimately benefit the end-user”.