Building for life

Building for life 12 (BfL12) is the government-endorsed industry standard for new residential-led developments. BfL12 is cited in the National Planning Policy Framework and has been incorporated into our own emerging Local Plan.

BfL12 is about creating better streets and public spaces by addressing a range of design considerations early in the development process. For instance, the first question requires connected street patterns to be established, avoiding disconnected and largely cul de sac layouts. BfL12 works best when the 12 questions are used to inform land purchasing decisions (feasibility stage); using these questions to structure pre-application discussions with the Council's Development Management Team and focus community and stakeholder engagement. 

The Council expects all new developments to perform positively against BfL12 with as many 'greens' secured as possible against the 12 questions, any 'ambers' justified and 'reds' avoided. 

In pre-application discussions with officers, you can expect discussions relating to the design quality to be structured against the 12 questions and are therefore advised to familiarise yourself with the guidance document and case studies that can be found on the building for life homes website (opens in a new window).

All planning application for major residential development will need to be supported by a BfL12 structured Design and Access Statement.