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Built Design and Sustainable Construction

YHA National Forest

Development that responds to its Forest setting will combine innovative building design, a well-conceived built form and a distinctive landscaped character. New buildings will integrate with the wider environment both physically and visually while the positive environmental impacts of the green infrastructure will be complimented by highly sustainable construction.

A sustainable approach to new development fits strongly with the ethos of the Forest's creation. Developers are encouraged to assess their developments against the Code for Sustainable Homes and the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and aim for standards above the statutory minimum.

To further enhance the National Forest character established through the green infrastructure options set out in Section Three, developments should also incorporate the use of sustainably-sourced timber within the design of new buildings and for public realm improvements. This will help tie the built form to the natural environment and emphasise the development's setting within The National Forest.

Other ways in which built design can reflect the Forest's setting include:

  • Community or district heating systems using wood fuel
  • Incorporation of grey water recycling systems
  • Ecologically designed sustainable drainage systems

The improved environment of The National Forest should be matched by high quality urban design which further enhances the area and responds to the local environment. Developers are encouraged to assess residential developments against the Building for Life criteria.

The importance of locally-inspired design is also evidenced by the award-winning Ourplace initiative. This scheme promotes high quality urban design through the use of Building for Life assessments and allows successful developments to market their achievements to purchasers. Ourplace was established by North-West Leicestershire District Council and is now used by neighbouring Local Authorities while being equally applicable across the whole Forest area.

Further details on design principles, building and landscape design are provided in the National Forest Design Charter.


Contact us


Philip Metcalfe, Green Infrastructure and Planning Officer

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National Forest Company
Enterprise Glade
Bath Yard
DE12 6BA
United Kingdom

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+44 (0)1283 551211

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