A well-designed housing development can make a big difference to the health and wellbeing to the people who live there. That is why we have developed the Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme.

The scheme encourages developers to promote the physical and mental health of residents when designing and building new developments.


We hope that this scheme will benefit residents both in new and existing communities. Accredited developments could include:

  • gym trails
  • community gardens
  • community spaces
  • lifetime homes
  • digital infrastructure provision
  • electric charging points
  • local food growing and healthy eating projects
  • sustainable transport options


There are other national awards that already recognise environmental factors and housing quality. However, we have developed this scheme to recognise the wider factors that impact on health and wellbeing. These include access to healthier food, support for local employment and education facilities and inclusive communities. 

Although a voluntary scheme, it allows us to encourage and reward developers who: 

  • go beyond policy requirements
  • use social factors to help improve physical and mental health
  • embed the Active Design principles, which are a key part of the Chelmsford Local Plan and the Essex Design Guide 

We will assess developments using a two-stage process and award them either bronze, silver or gold status. We will work in partnership to evaluate developments and will include representatives from:

  • our Planning and Public Health teams
  • Essex County Council’s Public Health team
  • Sport England
  • an independent review panel 

You can find out more about the scheme via the Essex Design Guide.

Livewell Campaign

The Livewell campaign sees all 13 local authorities in Essex work together with partners to help people across the county improve their health and wellbeing. 

This Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme contributes to this work by improving wider built environment and helping communities through the planning of new developments. 

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