Online tool to judge sustainability of proposal

A ‘scorecard’ enabling planners to assess the sustainability of proposed developments has been launched by the Sustainable Development Commission and Iceni Projects.

The Sustainable Development Scorecard is a free online resource that judges a proposal by how well it meets the National Planning Policy Framework’s (NPPF) definition of sustainable development.

Its aim is to guide planners and developers towards creating schemes that both score highly in terms of the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic – and balance these pillars against each other.

The easy-to-use tool has been devised by a panel of industry professionals chaired by former planning minister Nick Raynsford. It is aimed at anyone with a vested interest in development, including community groups and neighbourhood planners.

The commission is made up of a cross-section of industry professionals including:

Edward Dixon, sustainability special projects manager at Landsec
Sue Smith, former chief executive at Cherwell District Council
Ian MacLeod, assistant director, planning and regeneration at Birmingham City Council
Roy Foster, former planning inspector
Janet Askew, RTPI past-president
Stephen Ashworth, partner at Dentons

“Although the NPPF has a presumption in favour of sustainable development at its heart, assessing the degree to which a project complies with this is highly subjective,” Dan Jestico, director for Sustainable Development at Iceni Projects, said. “Thanks to the Sustainable Development Scorecard, everyone from architects to developers to local residents will be able to easily assess how sustainable a proposal really is.”

He added: “The Sustainable Development Scorecard means that for the first time, it will be possible to see to what extent a scheme really has a ‘golden thread of sustainability running through it’.”

The scorecard can be found here