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Wed May 22 2024

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Housebuilding standard BfL revised

21 Sep 12 An updated version of the Building for Life (BfL) standards has been published to take account of changes in planning guidance and law.

BfL is the industry-owned and government-endorsed guide for new home and neighbourhood design. It is published by the Home Builders Federation, Design for Homes and theCommission for Architecture & the Built Environment (Cabe – now part of the Design Council).

BfL12, is the third version of the guide for developers and local authorities and responds to the reformed planning system under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Localism Act.

It is designed to help local communities become more involved in shaping development proposals. Its 12 questions (there were previously 20) are designed to provide a structure for discussions between local communities, the local planning authority, the developer and other stakeholders, to ensure that design is attractive, functional and sustainable.

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Nahid Majid, director of the Cabe team at the Design Council, said: “Over the last 12 years BfL has been instrumental in taking forward and ensuring high quality design in residential development. It is a tool well used and respected by both local authorities and developers. We now have a new emphasis on community engagement, local decision-making and the government’s housing strategy, which recognised that  BfL should be updated to reflect the new planning system. Working with our partners, and through active consultation with users, we are really pleased that BfL has now been revamped to 12 questions as BfL12. We feel sure that BfL 12 has a great future in enabling constructive conversations about design which will lead to good developments.”

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “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. Surveys show that the people who buy and live in new homes already have exceptionally high satisfaction levels. But the industry is constantly looking for ways to improve further and deliver ever higher quality homes.”

Stephen Stone, chief executive of housebuilder Crest Nicholson, added: “The Building for Life principles offer a benchmark for well-designed homes and communities, and it is essential that we continue to recognise how important good design is for improving quality of life and delivering a long term legacy. The new traffic light system is not only easier to understand, but also provides a far more holistic approach because it addresses all aspects of good design.”

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