Welcome to this resource suite designed to assist local government planning professionals and other stakeholders in achieving more sustainable development through practical, accessible ‘how to’ guidance and supporting materials.

Local Planning and BREEAM

As we all know good planning can help deliver new homes and communities that positively impact those who live in them, the local area, our natural environment and society in general. It helps create a better image for the built environment sector, protect the long-term fabric of our villages, towns and cities and can bring about the best in sustainable development for now, and decades after project completion.

Realising these ambitions calls for reliable and robust tools that support national and local planning policy and which can foster greater collaboration across the built environment sectors. The BREEAM Family of schemes offer scientifically underpinned, sustainability assessment frameworks through which planners (and others) can communicate and drive forward better development outcomes.  Furthermore, their independent certification models help ensure designs are actually realised in practice helping to reduce performance gap related issues, build skills capacity and generally grow confidence in this sectors ability to deliver the places the nation desperately needs.

What is covered?

The resources below provide further detail on the role that BREEAM can play in supporting planning and development activity. To make it as accessible as possible the information has been split into five resource packs and a frequently asked questions document.

The first resource pack is a ‘how to guide’ for planners. It considers how the BREEAM schemes sit alongside existing planning policy frameworks and how they may be practically applied at the local authority level to drive design standards up.

The second resource pack considers the value case for using BREEAM. It identifies the ways in which BREEAM adds value for multiple stakeholders before demonstrating how BREEAM can be successfully built into a business case.

The third to fifth resource packs introduces BREEAM Communities and CEEQUAL (third), BREEAM New Construction (fourth) and the Home Quality Mark (HQM) (fifth). They consider how each scheme is positioned, the rating systems and minimum standards that underpin them, the assessment routes which can be followed, and how they can be used by different stakeholder groups.

The frequently asked questions document supports the resource packs and provides answers to the key questions most commonly asked by planning professionals.

Living resources

The resources on this page are intended as living and adaptable. This means that over time we may look to update and refresh the content where it may be helpful. We hope that you find them useful and look forward to working with you as we move forward as an industry.

Looking ahead…

We are keen that the conversation doesn’t stop here and so we will be running a series of engagement events in partnership with the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and working with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The key themes of these sessions will cover effective planning for climate change and better public health (depending on the local appetite and need) and include presentations for leading thinkers as well as practical, hands on workshops.

Attendees will hear an overview of findings of TCPA/RTPIs recent climate change report, an introduction to the role of the BREEAM Family within the planning context, as well as other guest presentations/insights. The workshops will then focus in on how planners can facilitate the change and action required at a local level through the use of the certification schemes and the other toolkits that local governments have at their disposal. These events are targeted at public sector planning practitioners and decision makers, and will be free to attend.

With thanks to our partners & collaborators

This guidance has been developed in partnership with the Town and Country Planning Assocation (TCPA) 

Working with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Contact us

Charlene Clear

Head of Products and Services, BREEAM


Jonathan Gilbert

Policy Advisor, BREEAM