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New toolkit enables health to be built into future land planning

Published: 8 October 2021

Public Health Wales has created a practical Health Impact Assessment (HIA) toolkit that will enable planners to easily integrate health into their development plans for the future.

Designed to help further the collaboration between planning and public health sectors in Wales the resource aims to maximise positive health and wellbeing outcomes through land use planning policies that create healthy, equitable and cohesive communities. 

Liz Green, Consultant in Public Health, Policy and International Health at Public Health Wales, said: “The importance of and the interconnected nature of health and planning has been magnified by the Coronavirus pandemic, the impact that measures to control transmission, such as lockdowns have had in relation to housing and employment opportunities and access to places and spaces. 

“Living in environments that both enable and promote good health and wellbeing would see a dramatic improvement to people in Wales’ health and wellbeing outcomes. The aim of this HIA toolkit is to make integrating health and wellbeing into any future development plans as easy and simple as possible so we can all look forward to a healthier future.” 

The HIA Toolkit for Practice is focused on the preparation of Local Development Plans (LDPs) and Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPGs) but could equally inform and support the development of Strategic Development Plans (SDPs) and reviews of LDPs.

The aims of the Toolkit are to: 

  • Outline the strategic considerations that can support the maximisation of public health input into land use planning policy 
  • Highlight specific points within the policy development process where key Public Health contributions can be made to support and inform the policy 
  • Provide supporting information to a maximise a consideration of health and well-being in planning development processes via the application of Health Impact Assessments  
  • Provide real life recent case study examples and the insight from the officers who worked on these 
  • Provide practical resources to apply Health Impact Assessments within the policy development process, primarily at a local level but could be applied at a regional or national level where and when applicable (See Part B, Sections 3 and 4). 

The resource is aimed primarily at public health and local authority land use planning policy officers. Equally, those working within local Health Boards, additional local government departments, environmental health officers, the Third Sector and other built environment professions may find it useful to secure more locally joined-up working and integration of practice. 

‘Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and Local Development Plans (LDPs): A Toolkit for Practice’ is in two parts; Part A outlines the context and policy levers, Part B contains practical advice and resources which can be used as an accessible reference when required during the development of LDPs, SDPs and SPGs. 

The full resource can be found here: