Healthy Places & Communities

“Planning policies and decisions should aim to achieve healthy, inclusive and safe
National Planning Policy Framework (

Few would disagree with the broad aim of ensuring our communities are healthy and inclusive – but what does it mean in practice, and how can planning help?

The left hand menu covers some of the ways in which we can do this and the role HUDU can play in each area.

The links between people’s health and the wider physical, social and economic environments they live in are both important, and well established. Health inequalities, highlighted by disparities in life expectancy between communities in different parts of London and the UK, often sit side by side with other causes of deprivation, and tackling them requires concerted and coordinated action.

This broader context is often referred to as the Wider (Social) Determinants of Health. Understanding the relationships between the different factors influencing health is key to improving overall health outcomes, and is where planning starts to play a wider role.

Some examples of where planning and health interact together include:

Other opportunities for coordination and an integrated approach to health and planning include:-

Health and Wellbeing Strategies

Health and Wellbeing Strategies must take account of the current and future health and social care needs of the local population and examine how local assets, including the local community itself, can be used to meet identified needs. They are a key element of the Government’s Health and Social Care Act 2012 reforms and are a statutory responsibility for local authorities and their associated Integrated Care Boards.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs), which ICBs and partners have a joint statutory duty to prepare, are the evidence base for these strategies.

Health services and facilities 

Continuous changes in the population, and economic, financial and resource pressures, mean there is often a need to find new ways of delivering cost effective, quality services.

One of HUDU’s most important activities is helping NHS organisations and other key health stakeholders maximise the opportunities that new development and regeneration schemes provide to improve health outcomes and healthcare provision.

The range of services provided by HUDU is set out under Our Services, and a core service is to assess the impact of new development on health and other community infrastructure, identify ways in which development can contribute more broadly to meeting health needs and to ensure appropriate developer contributions are secured through the planning process.