Building for a Healthy Life

Building for a Healthy Life (BHL) succeeds Building for Life 12, which is incorporated into the council’s adopted Local Plan. It is England’s most widely known and used design tool for creating places that are better for people and nature.

BHL uses the same 12-point structure and underlying principles as Building for Life 12, and the new name reflects changes in legislation and refinements in response to good practice and user feedback. BHL is also cited in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as an example of an assessment framework. BHL was written in partnership with Homes England, NHS England and NHS Improvement, integrating the findings of the Healthy New Towns Programme. The design toolkit covers the priorities for creating integrated neighbourhoods, distinctive places and streets for all.

The council expects all new developments to achieve a good standard of design as a minimum and to perform positively against BHL. To achieve the best outcome BHL uses a green, amber and red scoring system, with the objective to minimise the number of amber lights and to avoid any red lights.

All planning applications for major residential development will be expected to be structured against BHL in the design and access statements.