Living legacy


I’ve enjoyed working on one of London’s most complex and challenging regeneration schemes. Being shortlisted for the ‘Development of the Year’ RESI award is exciting, and in the long term measuring the social value we are creating will be very important.

Kesh Chopra, Assistant Site Manager

Our build to rent business model puts the emphasis on placemaking and is introducing whole life costing to our strategy. We are now creating longer-term investment assets, mitigating obsolescence and providing an enhanced quality of life for residents and neighbours.

A high-quality built environment can positively contribute to people’s health and wellbeing and equally a poorly designed place can negatively affect the community and its users. Given the prevalence of urban loneliness across the world’s cities, the importance of good urban planning and high-quality green infrastructure (GI) can help counter the often negative health implications of city living. Telford Homes’ purpose is to develop the homes and create the places that London needs. This is achieved through our BLL strategy and our commitment to home building and placemaking.

Regenerating and developing solely brownfield sites in London that are near public transport nodes means that we are making a contribution to the capital’s vision to be an inclusive and well-connected smart city. Our schemes increasingly incorporate climate change adaptation and resilience strategies such as low and zero carbon, and green and blue infrastructure. This has multiple benefits in supporting our licence to operate to achieve the sustainability objectives of the London Plan, reducing our corporate impacts and decreasing the ecological footprints of our customers.

Since 2019, we have employed a CE approach to optimise design and operational efficiencies, and we are developing complimentary net zero strategies for biodiversity, carbon and social value. This work will be in its infancy during 2020 and 2021 and we intend to spend time further developing our 2030 journey, objectives and targets. Through our advocacy work to create desirable places to live we continue to scrutinise emerging policy themes, and where appropriate implement requirements into planning applications. Whilst the new London Plan has passed through its Examination in Public, it is still subject to further changes in response to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Secretary of State feedback during March 2020. It is envisaged that the delayed changes will be implemented during 2020. In the meantime, we will monitor and update our BLL Toolkit, with an increased emphasis on placemaking and community wellbeing. Amendments will also incorporate revisions from the Building for Life 12 principles and the relevant aspects of BREEAM Communities criterion.

For the second year we have implemented our Social Return on Investment (SRoI) framework. For the first time at City North, we have made a commitment to carrying our Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) during 2021/22. We believe this feedback will be invaluable in integrating the lessons learnt into future schemes. Given the BLL Strategy was launched in 2016, during 2020/21 we will conduct a five year social value review of completed projects to establish our societal contribution.

For the third consecutive year, we have undertaken a socio-economic analysis of the activities our schemes bring to their local economies, these include:

  • The support of 2,500 (2019: 1,600) direct Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs with an output of £81.8 million (2019: £90 million) gross value added (GVA) for the UK economy;
  • The additional support of 2,250 (2019: 1,400) indirect jobs with an output of £66.2 million (2019: £80 million) indirect GVA and 1,659 (2019: 700) induced FTE jobs with an output of £45.8 million (2019: £50 million) induced GVA;
  • 64 per cent (2019: 72 per cent) of our supplier spend was in London and the East of England and 90 per cent of our suppliers by number (2019: 90 per cent) are Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs); 72 per cent (2019: 80 per cent) of spend is with SMEs.
  • £3.2 million (2019: £7.8 million) Section 106 planning payments and off-site Community Infrastructure Levy contributions benefit local neighbourhoods.

To support our purpose we continue to set new objectives and targets, and our 2020 objectives can be viewed here. This approach helps informs our Risks and Uncertainties Register. We continue to make good progress in the following areas, that help form our BLL Framework and Toolkit:

  • We continue to implement our Community Engagement Strategy during the planning consultation stages of the project lifecycle.
  • New site acquisitions continue to be located within 500m of public green space (compared to our objective of 1km) – our proposed schemes are providing net-positive on-site green infrastructure. We are also meeting the Urban Greening Factor (UGF) requirements on newly designed schemes. During the reporting period, 100 per cent of our completed developments have implemented Biodiversity Action Plans to conserve/ improve habitat and biodiversity values. These approaches help improve the health and wellbeing of residents and neighbours (where public realm is accessible).
  • In 2019, we set an objective to engage with a wildlife trust or a Non-Governmental Organisation to develop a biodiversity policy. Whilst we have not met this objective, our soon to be reviewed and revised Building a Living Legacy Placemaking Toolkit will include a new Net-Biodiversity policy during 2020.
  • 100 per cent of the homes we are building or are planning to develop have secure cycle storage – which is more comprehensive than our target of 80 per cent. All schemes have travel plans in place or benefit from a car club (40 per cent) and are located within walking distance of transport nodes to enable more sustainable forms of travel. All projects are within an average Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) of 4.8 (2019: 4.5). In addition, blue badge parking provision is included at all projects.
  • Whilst no new ‘meanwhile space’ has been provided in the reporting period, we continue to work with Live-in Guardians at our LEB site in Bethnal Green. Where appropriate, other forms of temporary uses and/or low-cost accommodation is explored to suit the given location and SMEs specialising in vacant properties or pop-ups – additionally our volunteer work has seen us upgrade premises and places to benefit the wider community.
  • 80 per cent (2019: 70 per cent) of completed homes meet Secured by Design principles – which continues to be a favourable performance compared to our peers. On all projects we are working collaboratively with chartered architects, urban designers and associated professions, including ecologists, to create thriving places that enable people to live sustainable lifestyles.

Later in this report we discuss our experience and positioning in utilising assessment tools such as BREEAM, BRE Home Quality Mark (HQM) and WELL; and our key aim of becoming a net zero carbon developer by 2030. To help us achieve these significant challenges, we will continue our focused advocacy work with the UKGBC in areas such as net zero carbon, biodiversity net gain, and with industry bodies in various regulatory outputs from the Hackett Review.

Since becoming a corporate partner of the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) in 2019, we have gained and shared good practice insights through its Home Builders meeting. It is pleasing to note our average score of 41/50 (2019: 40/50) has improved and continues to be ahead of a non-partner’s average score of 36/50 (2019: 35/50) and partners’ score of 40/50 (2019: 39/50).


The Business Design Centre Group and Telford Homes’ joint-venture (JV) vision for City North is to create transformational placemaking to maximise local economic and community benefits.

The scheme is the most significant mixed-use development in Finsbury Park for a generation. It is delivering 355 new mixed-tenure homes, a new entrance to Finsbury Park underground station and substantial leisure amenities, for respected brands and local SME businesses, set within an accessible and inclusive public realm.

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