Key stages in planning where health could feed in

Key stages in planning policy and development management processes where health considerations could feed in are highlighted in the Tables 1 and 2 below. A similar table highlighting key planning stages where environmental sustainability can feed in is included in the “How to engage with Planning?” environmental sustainability section.

It may be useful to organise some training events for selected public health staff to make them aware of opportunities to contribute to the development of planning policies and input on planning applications, and to share ideas on how health professionals could best work with both policy and development management planners.

“Early and meaningful engagement and collaboration with neighbourhoods, local organisations and businesses is essential.”

NPPF, 2012

Planners can identify who to contact in health to input on planning policy or to advise on health aspects of planning applications by viewing the contact details provided in the “Who to contact in health?” section.

It may be useful to develop a formal protocol between public health and planners to set out the objectives and priorities of engagement and clarify who will input on what, when and how. Without such an agreement there is a high risk that joint working will fail due to conflicting priorities or poor commitment and a lot of time will be wasted. For an example of a health planning protocol see the Bristol case study in the case studies section.

Table 1: Planning policy stages and health considerations

Planning stage Health considerations
Evidence gathering to inform policy development
  • Seek evidence from public health on health, health inequalities and wellbeing, drawing on the JSNA and HWBS
  • Consider aligning AMR evidence gathering with the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and coordinating evidence gathering where needs overlap (see JSNA page)
Developing local planning policies, SPDs, infrastructure plans and neighbourhood plans
  • Ensure public health understand the timetable for development and the best times to engage
  • Consider establishing policy requirements for Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) and/or Equalities Impact Assessments (EqIAs) for relevant developments
  • Consider conducting HIA of emerging policy documents (with input from public health), possibly as part of the statutory Sustainability Appraisal process
  • Consider using TCPA’s “NPPF and health and wellbeing checklist” (see further information below)
  • Ensure infrastructure plans draw on evidence of need for new/improved health infrastructure
Monitoring impacts of policy over time
  • See evidence gathering point above
  • Work with public health to measure the effectiveness of interventions in addressing specific health outcomes
Developing masterplans
  • Consider conducting HIA of emerging policy documents
  • Consider working with health to develop a JSNA for new communities (see JSNA page)

Table 2: Development management stages and health considerations

Planning stage Health considerations
  • Consider consulting public health on applications (above an agreed threshold) at this early stage – this is when their input is likely to be most useful in influencing scheme design
  • Consider consulting public health on applications (above an agreed threshold) to allow feedback on full applications, possibly including recommendations for conditions
Discharge of conditions
  • Where relevant, consult public health on details submitted to discharge specific conditions