BREEAM Launches Local Planning Authority Guidance

The BREEAM Family of schemes supports and adds value to the activities of a range of stakeholders worldwide; for central government delivering on policy, for the market players actively committed to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and good Environment Social Governance (ESG), and for the financial investment sector managing risks to name a few. Within the UK, the schemes also support local government via development specifications and the planning system.

Over the past few years our proactive engagement activities with this latter group; local planning authorities as well as their representative groups and bodies, has sought to demystify the applicability of certification and empower practitioners to the drive better sustainability outcomes in what is an ever-evolving policy landscape.

Following the release of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, 2018); the central reference point for plan making in England, and joint pieces with both the UKGBC and TCPA/RTPI (policy playbook and climate resilience practitioners guide respectively), we acted to update our own planning guidance working with our assessor networks and planning representatives to define the brief and refresh the best practice knowledge.

We are pleased to say that this has resulted in a dedicated BREEAM Planning resource suite specifically for local government and planning authorities which currently contains 6 documents covering:

  1. Planning Practitioner Guidance – principles, policy writing, ratings, and industry examples
  2. The Value Case – providing a compilation of the key value messages
  3. Communities and CEEQUAL Uncovered – context, scope, minimum standards, stakeholder value and uptake
  4. UK New Construction Uncovered – as above
  5. HQM Uncovered – as above
  6. Top ten questions – addressing the FAQs we receive from local authorities, planners and other involved stakeholders

These are very much intended as ‘living resources’ which will be added to and evolved over time. The current intention is to include resource packs for the Refurbishment and Fit-Out and In Use BREEAM schemes and build upon the application approval/determination insight. However we’ll be monitoring feedback, hits/downloads etc. and have partnered with the TCPA, and are working with the RTPI, to deliver a series of engagement workshops for planning practitioners. These will disseminate the best practice, particularly in respect to positive climate change and public health action, and the use of certification, and help shape the brief for the second update phase.

It is also envisaged that further guidance will be brought forward for those acting within the schemes wider stakeholder network – watch this space! And please do contact us with your thoughts and suggestions at breeam@bregroup.com.