CREATING THRIVING PLACES THAT ENABLE PEOPLE TO LIVE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLES
We are increasingly seeing the tangible benefits of embedding our BLL strategy which is resulting in an enhanced quality of life, as evidenced by our 99 per cent customer recommendation rate.
External recognition from the NextGeneration Initiative ranked the Group fourth, moving up from sixth in 2017 and seventeenth in 2016, and for the second successive year we were the most improved housebuilder in its sustainability benchmark.
We also received 17 design, quality and people awards during 2018–19, including being named ‘Large Developer of the Year’ at the RESI Awards 2018 and ‘Best Regeneration’ for Bow Garden Square at the Evening Standard Awards 2019.
Our strategy of developing solely on brownfield sites in London that are in close proximity to public transport nodes gives us a strong foundation from which to reduce our corporate impacts and lessen our customer’s ecological footprints. We employ climate change adaptation and resilience strategies, alongside low and zero carbon infrastructure which enables us to achieve the sustainability objectives of the London Plan.
In the future we will increasingly employ a circular economy approach to optimise design and minimise construction impacts.
During 2018 we completed the objectives that we set in last year’s report to create a Living Legacy framework (using best practice principles), which we continue to use alongside the Living Legacy toolkit. During 2019–20 we will monitor the new London Plan as it progresses through the EiP process and will further develop the toolkit.
It is becoming apparent that local authorities are giving more weight to the new London Plan as it progresses through the planning process. Accordingly, we expect to align our practices and the toolkit on current projects.
In collaboration with our build to rent partner M&G, we have trialled the BRE Home Quality Mark assessment at Carmen Street, E14. The purpose of this research is to help us better understand whole life costs and improved customer health and wellbeing benefits. This knowledge will also assist us in preparing for the Government’s forthcoming Future Homes Standard.
Working collaboratively with chartered architects, urban designers and associated professions we are committed to ‘developing the homes and creating the places that London needs’ through collaboration with local stakeholders.
We believe the application of our Living Legacy framework will enhance economic prosperity and help create healthy lifestyles for residents and visitors. Progressively, this approach will lessen our environmental footprint and that of our customers.
For the second consecutive year, we have completed a socio-economic analysis to understand the wider benefits that our activities bring to the economy as part of the Social Return on Investment (SRoI) framework that was developed last year.
- We supported 1,600 direct Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs with an output of £90 million gross value added (GVA) for the UK economy;
- We additionally supported 1,400 indirect FTE jobs (£80 million indirect GVA) and 700 induced FTE jobs (£50 million induced GVA);
- Nearly 72 per cent of our supplier spend (2018: 90 per cent) was in London and the East of England and 90 per cent of our suppliers by number (2018: 90 per cent) are Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
We continue to measure and monitor a range of objectives to ensure our schemes are masterplanned and are considered to be desirable places to live.
We believe this approach will create lasting value for local communities and help us accelerate our BLL strategy through the application of the following principles to our developments:
- New site acquisitions to be within 1km of public green space. All schemes are located within 500m of public green space and are providing more on-site green infrastructure to improve wellbeing;
- Schemes to be located within walking distance of transport nodes and to integrate sustainable travel initiatives. This has been achieved for all our schemes with an average Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) of 4.5;
- Provision of ‘meanwhile space’. Whilst no new meanwhile space has been provided in the reporting period, we are working with Live-in Guardians at our LEB site in Bethnal Green and temporary uses will be explored where appropriate;
- 70 per cent of completed homes to meet Secured by Design principles. We achieved 71 per cent during 2018–19 which continues to be a favourable performance compared to our peers.
In addition to on-site Section 106 planning payments we also make off-site Community Infrastructure Levy contributions to benefit local neighbourhoods. During the reporting period these planning payments and contributions equated to £7.8 million.
Our continuous commitment to creating a positive legacy for residents is central to our future ambitions. Consequently during 2018 we became members of the Institute of Customer Service (ICS). In their report the ‘Customer of the Future 2025’ they identified twelve factors which will shape the consumer of the future, ranging from a rising demand for convenience through to improving quality of life via continuous monitoring of health and wellbeing. We believe collaborating with cross-sectorial groups such as the ICS will help us better understand and prepare for evolving customer expectations.
We support the work of the HBF and engaged stakeholders in the creation of the New Homes Ombudsman and the strengthening of the existing Consumer Code.
During the reporting period we also became a corporate partner of the Consider Constructors Scheme (CCS), primarily to benchmark our business against best practice. It is pleasing to compare our average score of 40/50 with a non-partner's average score of 35/50 and partners' score of 39/50.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Delivering social value through place making
Through high quality place making and design we will endeavour to improve health and wellbeing, create employment, enhance biodiversity and develop climate change resilience to improve air quality. We will measure our outputs using the Social Return on Investment (SRoI) framework which will enable us to articulate social value.
BOW GARDEN SQUARE
Since 2015 we have been working in partnership with Poplar HARCA and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to regenerate part of the Burdett Estate. Further to extensive consultation with local residents we have developed much needed new homes and a broad range of valuable community amenities.
The scheme provides 109 mixed-tenure homes, a brand new primary school and nursery, a sports hall/community centre and a mosque on a tight 2.38 acre site.