NHS Newham, now NHS East London and the City, appointed a regeneration manager in 2010 to oversee the health input to a range of projects in the borough, including the 2012 Olympics and the redevelopment of Royal Docks.

This joint collaboration between the local authority and the Health Service furthered the health agenda, embedding it within the borough?s Core Strategy. It also helped to put new topics onto the policy agenda of planners, such as restricting hot food takeaways (supported by a food outlet mapping study), which was driven by the high priority that elected members have put on access to healthy food.

The Core Strategy (adopted in 2012) highlights the Sustainable Community Strategy priority of creating a “Healthy Newham” and clarifies how this can be delivered through the Core Strategy: “The Core Strategy seeks to promote healthy lifestyles, reduce health inequalities, and create healthier neighbourhoods. Actions that can be implemented through the strategy include improving air quality, ensuring that new homes are built to high standards (including sufficient space inside the home), facilitating walking and cycling, and ensuring that everywhere in the borough has good access to open space and to health care facilities. Policies relating to changing the use of buildings to hot food take-aways will be tightened – including an exclusion zone around secondary schools. Land use policies will also seek to ensure an inspiring and accessible sporting legacy from the Olympic Games.”

Policy SP2 Healthy Neighbourhoods explicitly refers to how planners will work with health partners to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce health inequalities. It covers a range of issues including the need to promote healthy eating, improve air quality, improve employment levels and reduce poverty, improve housing quality and reduce crime, promote walking and cycling, and deliver new/improved inclusive open space, sports facilities and health facilities. Developers are expected to conduct a Health Impact Assessment for major residential /mixed use proposals.

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