Livewell Development Accreditation

“As Chair of the Essex Planning Officers Association (EPOA) how we create great places for people means that, as town planners, we have placed a high regard to creating healthy places for people to live, work and enjoy. Planning for health has been one of the guiding principles of EPOA’s work over the past few years. The Livewell Accreditation scheme which is supported by EPOA provides a practical way for developers and housebuilders to demonstrates that they have been able to incorporate the wider elements of health and wellbeing benefits throughout their design, from meeting the high-quality home standard, creating environments that support cohesive communities and are improving access to education, skills and employment to promoting environmental sustainability in their developments.

I would recommend the Livewell Accreditation scheme to all who want to build new homes in Essex, and all to those people who are looking to buy a new home”.

Graham Thomas, Essex Planning Officers Association

Livewell Development Accreditation Guidance

Health and wellbeing are intrinsically linked to both individuals and their environment. Health inequalities are heavily influenced by a wide range of socio-economic factors including housing, education, jobs and worklessness. Both planners and developers are recognising the multiple benefits incorporating health and wellbeing principles into development proposals can have.

Chelmsford City Council is proposing to recognise the commitment to improving health and wellbeing through an accreditation scheme. It is considered that acknowledging developments would be of greater benefit for planners and developers as well as the public who can be given some assurance that these environments have the potential to support their health and wellbeing.

The ‘Livewell’ accreditation scheme has therefore been designed for developers in Essex so that they can be recognised for their contributions to the health and wellbeing agenda. Based on a two- stage assessment using the new HIA criteria and a review by the Essex Quality Review Panel, developments considered to make a positive contribution to health and wellbeing would be awarded different levels of accreditation.

Overview of the Scheme:

Livewell Developer Charter

  • Commits developers to support the health and wellbeing principles within the accreditation scheme
  • Based on an annual review
  • Promotes developer commitment to delivering health and wellbeing throughout their business helping to support their own corporate responsibilities
  • Training and advice provided by the Essex Planning Officers Association (EPOA)

Stage 1 – Livewell Design Award

  • Developers assessed on how they have embedded healthy design principles into their emerging schemes
  • Uses Health Impact Assessment or the Healthy Checklist

Stage 2 – Livewell Development Accreditation

  • Development assessed on a credit-based scoring process on the following principles:
    • Design of homes and spaces
    • Active environment and connectivity
    • Environmental Sustainability
    • Supporting Communities
    • Access to healthier food environments
    • Improving access to education, skills and employment
  • Livewell Developments will be awarded at either bronze, silver or gold level subject to approval by a panel
  • Panel to undertake site visit to assess the as built scheme against the scoring criteria. 

Smaller scale schemes

  • Developer proposing schemes that do not meet the minimum size criteria (50 dwellings+) for an HIA can still submit their schemes for accreditation.
  • Only three of the principles will be assessed against small scale schemes ‘home/space design’, ‘active environment and connectivity, and ‘environmental sustainability’ for smaller schemes

Page updated: 13/01/2021

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