Bath housing development rated an “unqualified success” by Building for a Healthy Life author

Curo’s Mulberry Park development of 700 homes, open spaces and community facilities in Bath was found to be an ”unqualified success” after being assessed against the Building for a Healthy Life principles, the country’s standard for creating neighbourhoods that are better for people and nature.

Design for Homes Chief Executive, David Birkbeck, is the author of the Building for a Healthy Life design code.

David says: “It’s been tough to get round everything built this year but Mulberry Park was a joy to visit and the scheme we’d rank highest in England currently. It’s the perfect model of place-making, rather than just housebuilding, a neighbourhood that puts healthier lifestyles first, with streets and public spaces so well landscaped that people will want to use them for a leisurely walk either to its excellent facilities or the rest of Bath beyond.”

“It’s going to have everything, plenty of great quality open space like the future park and woodland walk, as well as pedestrian connections to the city centre and super-wide pavements with proper, mature street trees like you used to see. It also has so many services on site that residents need – the school, nursery, café and even work and employment space.”

The Building for a Healthy Life design code was developed in partnership with NHS England to encourage the planning of healthier lifestyles into new housing developments. The guidance promotes improved connections for walking, cycling and public transport, helping to cut pollution and enhance air quality.

Street scene at Mulberry Park

David says: “The street layout is so rational and beautifully landscaped, it’s got to be one of the best we’ve seen in decades for encouraging people to walk. If that helps people walk sometimes instead of taking the car every time, it’ll cut the number of pointless short car journeys that are driving up traffic and air pollution.

“There are also other design features to the homes that will make a real difference, such as recessed balconies for apartments. These offer more privacy, encouraging residents to use them more often and to sit outdoors when at home. The benefit of all that extra daylight in a decade or so of occupancy cannot be stressed enough.

“We consider the scheme to be an unqualified success, an extremely high-quality example of Building for a Healthy Life principles.”

Curo Chief Executive, Victor da Cunha, says: “More than 370 families now live at Mulberry Park and this growing community is going from strength to strength. We’re proud to be building a new neighbourhood that is futureproof, sustainable and that encourages and enables better health for its residents.”

Mulberry Park, Bath