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BREEAM Communities was re-launched in 2012, with the new scheme providing a more straight-forward, deliverable assessment methodology that ties in more closely to the new planning framework in England and Wales.

Hodkinson Consultancy is certified to undertake BREEAM Communities assessments with the new methodology.

BREEAM Communities aims to assess and improve the sustainability of developments, beginning at the masterplanning stage of the project, considering economic, social and environmental sustainability, assessing issues such as housing provision, ecology, public consultation and public realm. It is best suited to assess larger developments of 100 dwellings or more that are likely to have a significant impact on the surrounding area or infrastructure.

The real benefit of the scheme lies in how it can demonstrate a commitment to site-wide sustainability to local planning authorities. With the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ now firmly embedded at the heart of all planning decisions, a commitment to BREEAM Communities during the planning stage can significantly help to articulate this message. The scheme has been designed to make use of reports and studies otherwise prepared for a planning application, and so the early engagement of a qualified assessor can significantly help to minimise the additional assessment work required.