7th June 2023
Green space management charity, the Land Trust has today claimed a lack of guidance is holding back the delivery of social value across the residential development sector to the tune of almost £1billion.
There has been much debate on whether the country can deliver 300,000 houses every year by the mid-2020s, as set out by the Conservative manifesto 2019. However, based on this goal, analysis by the Land Trust1 has revealed the total potential worth of social value delivered from the green infrastructure and public realm around residential developments could be almost £1billion per annum – or the equivalent annual budget of one of England’s biggest hospitals2 .
The Trust’s analysis used figures from an Economic and Social Value model created to measure the benefits delivered across health and wellbeing, the environment and biodiversity, community and place, education, as well the economic benefits.
A breakdown of the figures showed social value has the potential to deliver circa £250million per annum in fiscal savings, as well as wider economic value, plus could generate almost £350million per annum of GVA (Gross Value Added) contribution.
The Land Trust is currently working with a range of relevant stakeholders on the development of a social value Best Practice Note. The aim of the paper is to assist landowners, investors, developers, local communities and other statutory bodies, as well as local authorities and local government, to maximise the development and management of high quality public realm within the built environment.
Alan Carter, Chief Executive at the Land Trust commented: “Social value is the positive impact on the wider environment and society which is delivered by intentional activity and interventions on the public realm which wouldn’t otherwise have happened.
“Our analysis has shown there is substantial benefit in getting social value delivery right. The Social Value Act 2012 states that all public bodies must consider how what they are proposing to buy might improve economic, social and environmental wellbeing, however, we believe there is a gap in guidance around how social value is delivered on the ground. There is real untapped potential in this area and an opportunity to directly help levelling up within communities.
“As we work towards the production of a Best Practice Note, we are keen to broaden our consultation, to gather the thoughts and inputs of a wide range of interested parties to make sure what we produce is meaningful, and ultimately aids the delivery of public realm social value to communities across the country.
“Alongside our established partners on this piece of work, we are keen to consult with individuals across the industry and have launched a survey to gather insights around exactly where gaps in guidance exist, and where the biggest challenges around social value delivery lie. Our survey is open until the 9 June and we would welcome input from across the built environment sector.”
Link to survey – Social Value Survey
Notes to editor:
1Figure of £1b based upon the social value delivered at Beaulieu development, Chelmsford, Essex across 1,341 units. The Land Trust has managed this development since 2016.
Total social value delivered at Beaulieu = £4,338,629
£4,338,629/1,341 units = £3,235.36838
£3,235.36838 X 300,000 = £970,610,515
The Land Trust uses an Economic and Social Value Model developed in partnership with AMION Consulting. The model assesses the benefits of green space with regard to five main categories of value:
• Environment and biodiversity
• Health and wellbeing
• Community and place
An Economic Value Assessment worksheet then summarises the benefits generated through the model, providing an overall measure of economic value. These can then be used to understand the:
• GVA (Gross Value Added) contribution
• Fiscal savings/benefits
• Wider economic or social value
2Taken from King’s Fund data: “£1b is enough to cover the annual budget for one of England’s biggest hospitals, like United Lincolnshire Hospital NHS Trust.”
Key facts and figures about the NHS | The King’s Fund (kingsfund.org.uk)
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Photograph by Charlie Ross
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