The main driver of social value is to provide long-lasting, high-quality developments, and is fast becoming a priority for developers and local planning authorities.
Social value must be looked at from a local context; stakeholders need to liaise with the local people, community groups and the local authority to establish what will benefit the local area, as well as the future community of the new development.
The actual measures to improve social value will be site and area specific but they could include the following:
- Ensuring that all job opportunities are advertised locally.
- Ensure the public realm is a safe and inviting place for people to use for recreation and exercise.
- Design the development to encourage sustainable transport options such as walking, cycling and electric vehicles.
- Utilise design features which convey a distinctive character to the development and encourage local pride.
Measures to improve social value are not typically new ideas or challenging to implement but will significantly improve the development for residents. Inclusion of social value measures within planning Sustainability Statements ensures no opportunities are missed and that the development is reflected as positively as possible when planning consent is being considered.