‘Healthy housing’ toolkit launches

A new design toolkit – backed by NHS England – has been launched to encourage healthier lifestyles to be planned into new housing developments.

The Building for a Healthy Life guidance covers the priorities for creating healthier communities, including improved walking, cycling and public transport links, with reduced carbon emissions and better air quality.

Master plans should be based on an assessment of local health and care needs, with the creation of integrated neighbourhoods based on ‘tenure neutral’ housing and well-defined public spaces.

The new guidance was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement to update the widely used Building for Life 12 (B4L12), which Homes England requires developers to commit to using as part of the tender process for purchasing land.

Reserved matter planning applications must subsequently reflect the tender proposals.

‘Building for a Healthy Life works best as the starting point for getting developers, local authorities, communities and other stakeholders to agree on key aspects of a design, such as how new development will connect to existing communities and how people will be able move between the two,’ said David Birbeck of Design for Homes.

‘Its general focus has not changed significantly, other than to promote the idea of walking and cycling more short journeys. But  the use of images helps explain the desired for outcomes and help everybody identify shared objectives.’

A director of architecture firm, dRMM, and a board member of Homes England, Sadie Morgan added: ‘The new design guidance is a big step forward in supporting placemaking for healthier, more integrated communities where people want to live and spend time together. We know that the existing guidance has focused developers’ attention on high-quality design and these new guidelines will build on that success.

‘People’s homes and neighbourhoods have a huge impact on their wellbeing and Homes England is committing to using these new guidelines to ensure that new developments encourage and enable better health.’

Photo Credit – Skeeze (Pixabay)

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