Last edited 05 Sep 2020

Amenity in the built environment

The HS2 London-West Midlands Environmental Statement published by the Department for Transport in November 2013, defines ‘amenity’ as:

‘The benefits of enjoyment and well-being which are gained from a resource in line with its intended function. Amenity may be affected by a combination of factors such as: sound, noise and vibration; dust/air quality; traffic/congestion; and visual impacts.’

The SuDS Manual defines amenity as ‘a useful or pleasant facility or service’, which includes both the tangible and the less tangible. It also suggests amenity ‘…covers liveability, which is associated with factors that improve the quality of life for inhabitants. Liveability encompasses the well-being of a community and of individuals and comprises the many characteristics that make a location a place where people want to live and work.’ Ref The SuDS Manual, CIRIA C753, 2015.

Urban Design Guidelines for Victoria, published by The State of Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in 2017, defines amenity as: 'The features of an area, street or building, that provide facilities and services that contribute to physical or material comfort and benefit, and are valued by users. An amenity can be either tangible, such as open space, seating, a swimming pool or gym; or intangible, such as pleasant views, air quality, or proximity to a local school or supermarket.'

The London Plan, Published by the Mayor of London in March 2016, defines amenity as an: ‘Element of a location or neighbourhood that helps to make it attractive or enjoyable for residents and visitors.’

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