High quality design is absolutely fundamental to the creation of sustainable communities where people want to live, work and visit. 

The Council’s aims are to:

  • Create places, streets and public spaces which meet the needs of people, are visually attractive, safe, accessible, functional, inclusive, have their own distinctive identity and maintain and improve local character
  • Promote designs and layouts which make effective and efficient use of land including encouraging innovative approaches to help deliver high quality schemes 

Building Futures Awards November 2011

The Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards celebrate and reward the leadership and innovation shown by those bringing forward exemplary sustainable design and construction schemes within Hertfordshire – and is the pinnacle of the work of the Building Futures Partnership of which this Council is a member.

Against extremely tough competition from 32 schemes around the County, two of the five awards went to buildings in Broxbourne – the Lee Valley White Water Centre won a special commendation for design excellence, and the overall top prize for design excellence went to Hertford Regional College.

Commenting on the Lee Valley White Water Centre, judge Jeremy Caulton noted that the building was successful because it was ‘such a harmonious addition to the park, and also because it is an iconic design that will be recognised as an Olympic spectacle for years to come’. The judges were particularly impressed with Hertford Regional College with Jeremy Caulton saying that ‘a celebration of learning has been woven into all elements of the Broxbourne campus and the architects behind it have successfully created an exceptional learning environment that can service both the local and wider community’.

More information about the Building Futures Partnership and the Awards is available on the Building Futures website.

Design guidance and information

The Council and developers should work together to deliver high quality development by taking account of:

  • Chapters in the National Planning Policy Framework.
  • Design policies in the Broxbourne Local Plan and the Borough-Wide SPG
  • Best practice guidance produced by Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) which is the Government’s design and architectural advisory body.
  • The Code for Sustainable Homes which requires new homes to become progressively more energy and water efficient until they reach zero carbon by 2016.
  • The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) which encourages water and energy efficiency, low carbon and renewable energy technologies, sustainable drainage and waste recycling in new business premises and public buildings.
  • Building for Life which establishes criteria for creating attractive and well designed homes and neighbourhoods
  • Lifetime Homes which establishes criteria for building accessible and adaptable homes.
  • Guidance from the Shape East centre of excellence
  • The Hertfordshire Building Futures programme which has been jointly prepared by all eleven authorities in the county to provide practical guidance on how to make development proposals as sustainable as possible.
  • Adopted Development Briefs where they are relevant
  • Design policies coming forward as part of the new Local Plan process. 


The Council also intends to complement this guidance with conservation area appraisals for development proposals in conservation areas and urban characterisation work to map the character of streets, estates and towns and identify any distinctive design styles, building materials and architectural features.