“The purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development”.
(National Planning Policy Framework, March 2012)
“Sustainable means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don’t mean worse lives for future generations … Development means growth”.
HUDU has a unique overview of the development and implementation of planning and health policy and good practice across London and provides both general and bespoke advice, guidance and support on planning policy and implementation issues.
We operate in a number of different ways to promote and facilitate collaboration and joint working between health organisations and local planning authorities to ensure the opportunities to maximise the benefits are identified and realised – see Partnership Working.
The National Planning Policy Framework adopted in March 2012 explicitly recognises the contribution planning can make to health and makes promoting healthier communities a key strand of planning policy. Under planning law, applications for development must be determined in accordance with the Development Plan for the area.
In London, the Development Plan comprises both the London Plan and London Borough Local Plans:
- The London Plan contains specific policies on health improvement and reducing health inequalities in Chapter 3 as well as policies to provide for, protect and enhance health facilities and other social infrastructure. The latest version of the Plan was adopted in March 2016.
- Local Plans need to be in general conformity with the London Plan and will also contain policies which address the impacts of new development on facilities and services and the wider contribution development can make to health improvement as well as setting out what social infrastructure is required to meet local needs.
As part of the supporting evidence base for Local Plans, and also where Community Infrastructure Levy has been implemented or is being reviewed, Boroughs will generally have undertaken a study of infrastructure needs and/or produced an Infrastructure Delivery Plan. These usually give a broad indication (often based on HUDU model outputs) of the health and other community infrastructure required to meet projected population growth over a 10–20 year period.
Areas with significant housing and/or employment growth potential will usually have been designated as Opportunity Areas or Areas of Intensification in the London Plan; and some will have Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks produced jointly by the Mayor and the relevant local authorities. Other localities where significant change is proposed or occurring may be the subject of Area Action Plans or Supplementary Planning Guidance prepared by the local planning authority. The Localism Act 2011 also gave communities new rights to draw up local neighbourhood plans and deliver development that the local community want.
Influencing planning policy at national and strategic levels on behalf other NHS in London is also a key part of our role and we liaise closely with the GLA, Public Health England and other pan London bodies to ensure strategic and local policy frameworks on health and planning are mutually reinforcing.