A new approach to integrating health considerations into planning is being piloted by Birmingham City Council.

The approach seeks to reduce the uncertainty and the assessment burden on developers of major developments through the provision of a schedule of evidence-based locally defined public health interventions available at the design stage. Development of such a schedule would require health professionals to work with planners to identify relevant interventions that could be delivered as part of new developments. Although this approach is currently at feasibility stage it has received support from the development community.

The proposed approach would raise awareness of developers about the health interventions, avoid design iterations during the planning consent stage, improve local health outcomes and/or reduce health inequalities and minimise costs to the developer.  In return for incorporating measures from the schedule, developers would be gain a light touch regulatory input where health assessments might otherwise have been called for.

It may be worth considering the applicability of such an approach for Kent and Medway. For further information on Birmingham City Council’s approach please contact the Public Health Lead at Birmingham City Council (Kyle.Stott@birmingham.gov.uk).