Sustainable places

Infrastructure and facilities

To create great places to live, we need to ensure future residents can access local community and social infrastructure either on or nearby the new development. This has a direct impact on their quality of life and satisfaction with their new home.

Great Western Park

Active travel and sustainable transport

We aim to create walkable neighbourhoods where customers can enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle and make sustainable transport choices. This includes layouts that integrate paths and cycle routes that connect with existing networks and street design that encourages slower vehicle speeds and safer cycling conditions. We also invest in public and community transport, walkways and cycle paths through our planning obligations. 
Sustainable places

Access to transport is important for our customers and local communities and also impacts the environmental footprint of future residents on our developments. Our materiality assessment identified this as a key impact area. 

In 2023, 70% of our UK completions were within 500 metres of a public transport node (2022: 67%), 90% were within 1,000 metres (2022: 90%). We contributed £6 million to public transport provision through our planning obligations.

Our latest standard house types include at least one study area with space for a desk and easy access to broadband and electricity sockets, to enable working from home. Many homes have integrated secure cycle storage. Around 13% had on-plot EV charging points (2022: 9%) and we have installed over 3,700 EV chargers since 2019. 22% of homes included secure cycle storage.


Promoting community connections

We aim to install infrastructure at an early stage of the build process to help the new community become established quickly. Our teams use our Community Communications Plan, which includes a range of recommended actions and activities for use throughout the development process to help foster a sense of community among new residents.

We have also explored different approaches to promoting community connections. For example:

  • At our Pennington Wharf development in Manchester, we provided an enhanced community centre (hub) at the site including a yoga room, kids play area, outdoor facilities and community noticeboard. One of our colleagues worked as a community champion one day a week, helping to organise events, communicate with residents and promote connections. We also rolled out an enhanced digital communications programme using Facebook, text messages, email and a website to keep residents up to date with site news, promote events, and encourage people to get involved in community activities. We assessed the impact using customer research and early findings suggested that the approach can help to foster connections.
  • At our Leybourne Chase site in Kent we have funded a community development worker to help set up the Community Development Trust and foster connections between residents and community organisations. 
  • In Sherford, Devon, community engagement has been a priority throughout. The plan for Sherford was generated through an Enquiry by Design process, bringing together many different stakeholders including residents, developers, county and local authority officers, health, education, police and other service providers, wildlife groups and environmental agencies. A Community Trust and Residents Association was established and a resident liaison officer appointed.