Places

Create strong communities where residents can live an enjoyable, sustainable life.

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Our approach

We create well-designed, high quality, safe and sustainable places which will endure as settled, vibrant communities long into the future. These are places where people choose to live, work and spend their time, that directly encourage people's wellbeing and quality of life, and offer them a space and a base from which to lead safe, fulfilling and sustainable lives. They include sustainable infrastructure and amenities, and are designed to be resilient to the effects of climate change.

Every two years we launch new commitments identifying our next set of priority actions. The next chapter of Our Vision launched on 1 May 2018 and includes two new ambitious commitments to develop our approach to creating strong communities where residents can live an enjoyable, sustainable life.

Details of our new commitments, and further information on our existing commitments under the Places focus area, can be found below.


2018-2020 commitments

On 1 May 2018 we launched two new ambitious commitments to deliver by April 2020.

Places, Community and Social Value

Community and social value

Understand the social value generated by new development and embed a coherent approach to building communities on all our sites.

Since 2012 we have been focusing on facilitating communities on our sites including what it will be like to live there, and how it will be managed. Through our new commitment we seek to embed our current structure for building communities further into our business operations.

The development process, from construction through to the operational stage, creates value for local communities, the local economy and the environment. This is often termed 'social value' and is about maximising public benefit and outcomes that support the public good. Stakeholders demand real value creation in the local area yet it can be difficult to define, measure and deliver. This commitment will also seek to explore how we quantify and explain the social value created through each development.

Places, Sustainable Transport

Sustainable transport

Explore future transport trends and encourage a modal shift away from an over-reliance on petrol and diesel cars.

The way we travel is changing; in the future there is likely to be less travel overall per head but more logistics traffic. There will be fewer conventional petrol and diesel cars and people may have access to a wide range of transport options.

In order to design developments fit for the future, we need to understand our customers' needs and expectations, as well as future trends and how the transport mix is likely to change over time.

We will undertake research to gain a greater understanding of the changes and how it may impact our developments.


2016-2018 commitments

Since 1 May 2016 we have been focusing on commitments on community plans and net biodiversity gain.

Places, Community Plans

Community plans

Implement community plans on our developments to facilitate thriving communities.

Since May 2016 we have been developing and piloting community plans on 12 of our developments, ranging from rural villages and suburban neighbourhoods to London estates.

Each community plan is different, reflecting local needs and aspirations. The community plan provides the structure to enable the community to mix and meet, usually through an events programme and an online forum. Through this, we are seeing community governance systems beginning to form, ranging from social clubs to residents committees. These help to embed a sense of shared-ownership and self-management, which is important for the long-term.

Whilst we initially lead the plans, it is our residents and estates managers who will look after the place, so it is important that they help to inform, influence, develop and own the plan.

Places, Net Biodiversity Gain

Net biodiversity gain

Develop and apply an approach to ensure that all new developments create a net biodiversity gain.

Biodiversity is the variety of species and habitats. It helps to improve air quality, provides resilience to climate change and adds amenity value. Despite this, biodiversity continues to decrease at an alarming rate. We are committed to ensuring that all new developments create a net biodiversity gain. Put simply this means there will be more nature on every site afterwards than before we began.

Working with external experts, we have developed a biodiversity toolkit which is used by our project teams and their appointed ecologists on every new site. The toolkit provides a baseline score for biodiversity before any work occurs and demonstrates how a net gain will be achieved. The toolkit has been completed on six of our sites pre-planning and through the design process the sites are due to achieve a net gain.

If considered early enough in the design process new development can create places with more nature than before by creating high quality habitats and by taking a holistic approach to the design. To help our teams achieve this we have also developed guidance called The Nine Concepts: Making Space for Nature and Beauty.


Further information

To find out more about our existing commitments and our achievements in each, please see the Our Vision Performance Update 2017 and the Places Performance Report 2014-2016. Details of our 2018 performance will be included in the Berkeley Group's 2018 Annual Report.

These documents can be found in the Performance section of the website.


Reports and Case Studies

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