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Building for Life 12

The Building for Life 12 (BfL12) guidelines were published in a booklet in September 2012. BfL12 is the third version of the guide for developers and local authorities and responds to and ensures it is best suited to the needs of the reformed planning system under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Localism Act. (See Building for Life Relaunched)

BfL12 is designed to help local communities become more involved in design conversations and in shaping development proposals. Its 12 questions provide a structure for discussions between local communities, the local planning authority, the developer and other stakeholders, to ensure that the design of new homes and their neighbourhood are as attractive, functional and sustainable as possible.

Its development is the result of a unique collaboration between house builders, local authorities, planners, architects and academics. It enables stakeholders involved in housing to consider all the elements of what makes “a good place to live” at the design stage.

You can either download the booklet in PDF format or read it here online (see links below).

Integrating into the neighbourhood

1 Connections

Does the scheme integrate into its surroundings by reinforcing existing connections and creating new ones, while also respecting existing buildings and land uses around the development site?

2 Facilities and services

Does the development provide (or is it close to) community facilities, such as shops, schools, workplaces, parks, play areas, pubs or cafes?

3 Public transport

Does the scheme have good access to public transport to help reduce car dependency?

4 Meeting local housing requirements

Does the development have a mix of housing types and tenures that suit local requirements?

Creating a place

5 Character

Does the scheme create a place with a locally inspired or otherwise distinctive character?

6 Working with the site and its context

Does the scheme take advantage of existing topography, landscape features (including water courses), wildlife habitats, existing buildings, site orientation and microclimates?

7 Creating well defined streets and spaces

Are buildings designed and positioned with landscaping to define and enhance streets and spaces and are buildings designed to turn street corners well?

8 Easy to find your way around

Is the scheme designed to make it easy to find your way around?

Street & Home

9 Streets for all

Are streets designed in a way that encourage low vehicle speeds and allow them to function as social spaces?

10 Car parking

Is resident and visitor parking sufficient and well integrated so that it does not dominate the street?

11 Public and private spaces

Will public and private spaces be clearly defined and designed to be attractive, well managed and safe?

12 External storage and amenity space

Is there adequate external storage space for bins and recycling as well as vehicles and cycles?