Community health and well-being requires a wide range of services and facilities, not just healthcare; and in recent years community infrastructure planning has become a much more integral part of the planning process.
HUDU was an early advocate of community (or social) infrastructure planning and developed the Social Infrastructure Framework (SIF) toolkit to help health authorities and other organisations assess their infrastructure needs and look at a range of options for meeting them, including pooling of resources to make better use of public sector assets.
The toolkit addresses five broad social ‘sectors’ namely:
- Health and social care
- Education (early years/childcare, primary, secondary, adult)
- Libraries and community services
- Recreation and leisure services
- Emergency and essential services
SIF helps to work out what social infrastructure from these sectors is needed for new and existing communities and where, when and how to best provide it to maximise the benefits and minimise the costs. It addresses existing deficiencies and geographic disparities and assists the production of Infrastructure and Local Plans.
An added benefit is that it creates a framework and a process whereby different organisations can work together to share information, and to identify where shared planning might lead to:
- more innovative solutions for the use of buildings
- more efficient use of land and buildings
- pooling of assets
- reconfiguration of services
- co-location of facilities and services
- integration of facilities and services in dual purpose or multi-functional buildings
Ways in which we can provide support include:
- supporting you in the use of the SIF tool
- help with estate planning and budgeting
- advice on planning issues
- information and analysis of demographic and development trends
- catchment area analysis for facilities and services
- locality and neighbourhood planning