Social sustainability

We are committed to working with local people, community groups and local authorities while our schemes go through the planning process. Involving both individuals and organisations within communities helps us to understand and manage the effects of our developments.

St Georges Rothwell - clock tower

When we redeveloped the St George's Hospital site in Rothwell we renovated the old clock tower and made it the centrepeice of the new development. Crescents of townhouses surround the impressive building and roads radiate from it. 

The design of the spaces and infrastructure around the homes is as important as the homes themselves. Good urban design considers the quality and character of places and public spaces, and the connections between them. We look to create places that can improve the health and well-being of both individuals and the wider community. We may achieve this by providing appropriate community facilities and public open space or simply by providing routes to help residents reach existing facilities within surrounding areas.  

We also do much more than build homes. We often build or make financial contributions towards roads, schools, community centres, public open space and playgrounds. During 2012 we made over £175 million of community contributions as part of our Section-106 and Section-75 planning obligations.

To be truly sustainable, everything on a development must also be looked after in the long term to avoid falling into disrepair and disuse. Once we have finished building, we pass responsibility for the upkeep of the infrastructure to an appropriate organisation. This may be the local authority, utility company, a private management company or community-based trust, depending on the scale and nature of what has been provided. We set up the most suitable long-term management solution for each development.

Careful planning of the right mixture of homes, from smaller apartments for first-time buyers to larger houses for growing families, provides living space for a balanced community. Approximately 18% of the homes we built in 2012 were sold to registered providers who manage them as affordable homes. We also offer a range of schemes to help people buy their own home, including the government-backed Help to Buy and NewBuy schemes in England and MI New Home scheme in Scotland, as well as our own assisted-purchase schemes such as EasyStart and Deposit Match.

To find out more about the different ways we can help you to buy your new home please click here

Building for Life 12

Sustainability and good design go hand in hand. Building for Life 12 is the industry standard, endorsed by the government, for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods. It is led by three partners: Cabe at the Design Council, Design for Homes and the Home Builders Federation.

Building for Life 12 is intended as a starting point for discussions with local authorities and communities to help us deliver good places to live. It sets out 12 questions that, if addressed properly, should produce well-designed and sustainable places to live.

The questions cover aspects including:

  • Provision of community facilities, whether on a new development or elsewhere locally;
  • Good access to public transport to reduce car dependency;
  • The character of the development, either in-keeping with its surroundings or distinctive; 
  • Suitable car parking provision so that the car does not dominate the streets; and
  • Well-defined public and private outdoor spaces that are attractive and safe.

Church Fields showhome

The showhome at Church Fields in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire. This development was one of the first in the UK to achieve the Built for Life 12 award.

We commissioned Design for Homes to make us a design tool based on the ‘Building for Life 12’ standard. The tool offers advice on successfully responding to each of the 12 questions and includes illustrated examples of good practice to follow and mistakes to avoid. This is used when we are guiding development proposals through planning and engaging with local communities.

"Some housebuilders just build 'units', while others create places to live. Taylor Wimpey has committed itself to adopting Building for Life 12 as a quality assurance procedure and we shall all benefit from its focus on creating better places," David Birkbeck, Chief Executive of Design for Homes and co-author of Building for Life 12.