Developers in Chelmsford can be recognised for their commitment to health and wellbeing through a new Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme.

The scheme encourages developers to promote the physical and mental health of residents when designing and building new developments, incorporating healthy place-making elements and Active Design Principles throughout their development.

Criteria include meeting high-quality design and home standards, creating active environments that support cohesive communities and improving access to education, skills and employment, as well as promoting environmental sustainability. Developments will be assessed using a two-stage process and awarded either bronze, silver or gold status. Applicants will be assessed by an independent review panel.

The Livewell Charter is the first step for developers to show their commitment to supporting health and wellbeing principles. Developers such as Countryside and Crest Nicholson have already taken this valuable step.

ABOVE: The Beaulieu development

Need for a healthy balance

Councillor Mike Mackrory, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said, “New homes are desperately needed in this country to solve the housing crisis. The Council’s role is to make sure the homes that must be built are sustainable, pleasant and healthy places to live. We know the homes that developers build today will be part of the housing mix for many generations and the Livewell scheme is one of the ways we’re encouraging developers to make a positive contribution to the future of housing.”

Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford, said, “The more that issues like climate change, community safety and wellbeing are discussed, the clearer it becomes that well-designed neighbourhoods are absolutely key. We have an opportunity to create places where cycling and walking are easy, where buildings and facilities are environmentally friendly and where lives can be happy and fulfilling. These are principles embedded in the City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Plan and ‘Our Chelmsford, Our Plan’.  I hope to see many developers signing up to Livewell to prove their commitment to creating just such homes for their customers, our residents.”

Developers are proud to sign up

Andrew Taylor, Group Planning Director at Countryside, said, “We are proud to sign up to the Livewell Accreditation scheme, demonstrating our commitment to the health and wellbeing agenda which is a central part of our approach to building communities.

“The development industry has an integral role to play in facilitating wellbeing through the built environment, delivering high quality design and buildings, places where people can walk and cycle, and the necessary facilities to enable communities to live active and healthy lifestyles.

“There are many different accreditation schemes around, but Livewell Accreditation promotes the broader desire for embedding health and wellbeing principles into new developments to maximise these opportunities for residents. It illustrates the joint working between Countryside, Chelmsford and Essex authorities to work together in designing and delivering high quality schemes such as Beaulieu in Chelmsford.”

Andrew Owen, Planning Manager at Crest Nicholson Eastern, said, “Crest Nicholson has been involved in the Livewell Accreditation scheme from the early stages and have now shown our commitment by formally signing up to be a part of the scheme. Our focus on the health and wellbeing agenda was demonstrated by our Livewell Garden at RHS Hampton Court in 2019 and will continue through our proposed development in Chelmsford that will embed health and wellbeing principles into the design of the scheme.”

Do you work in development?

Chelmsford City Council has developed the Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme with support from Essex County Council, the Essex Planning Officers Association, Place Services, Active Essex and Sport England.

To find out more and sign up to the charter, please visit: https://www.essexdesignguide.co.uk/supplementary-guidance/livewell-development-accreditation/

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