Nick Boles recognises five of first schemes to meet Building for Life 12 guidelines

Nick Boles

Planning minister Nick Boles has endorsed five of the first housing developments to meet a top set of quality guidelines known as Building for Life.

At an event last night, the minister praised the revised criteria, Building for Life 12 (BfL12), a scheme which was relaunched in its third iteration last September by its partners the Home Builders Federation, Design Council Cabe and Design for Homes.

The scheme, which has been adapted to respond to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Localism Act, aims to improve the design of homes and neighbourhoods and its 12 criteria address matters such as how best to integrate a development into an existing community and how to create a sense of place.

The five schemes to be recognised – which all recently gained planning approval -met all 12 of the criteria.

They are:

  • Church Fields, Boston Spa: 170 houses on a greenfield site in a conservation area in North Yorkshire
  • Seven Acres, Clay Farm/Great Kneighton, Cambridge: 128 houses and apartments as an early phase of a large extension to the urban boundary of the city of Cambridge
  • Starvehall Farm, Cheltenham: up to 330 homes plus an additional 60 to be provided as extra care units plus a 60-bed nursing care home on greenfield land within Cheltenham limits on land newly brought into local plan 
  • Roussillon Park, Chichester: 252 homes on a redeveloped MOD barracks land to the north of Chichester city
  • Manor Kingsway. Derby: 700 homes including an extra care facility plus shops and offices in the redevelopment of a hospital site promoted by Homes & Communities Agency.

Boles said: “We need to build beautiful houses that people are happy to live next door to if we are to persuade local communities to accept enough house building to meet today’s urgent need and that of future generations.

“Building for Life standards show the importance of good design both of buildings and of the public realm, and the benefits it can bring for both the building industry and communities. They are an incredibly useful guide for all involved in development.”

Stewart Baseley, chairman of the HBF added: “Building for Life is an extremely useful tool. It is a unique collaboration that provides a comprehensive guide to all parties involved in housing design.”

BfL12 is a voluntary scheme developed through co-operation between house builders, local authorities, planners, architects and academics.