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Getting public health research into planning practice

Institutions: University of the West of England in association with the Town and Country Planning Association

This project aimed to facilitate the use of health evidence in planning policy and practice and provide evidence-informed resources to enable the development of planning policies to improve health and wellbeing.

We worked with four locations to develop the resources, including templates for a Technical Research Paper on Planning for Ageing Well, a supplementary planning document (SPD) on Healthy Places, and to integrate health into neighbourhood plans, as well as a framework for planning for health and national guidance document.

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Barking Riverside, one of the NHS Healthy New Towns demonstrator projects

There is a genuine enthusiasm for the development of places that improve health and wellbeing outcomes and reduce health inequalities.

We found that barriers to delivering healthy places are related to a lack of leadership, experience, financial resources and capacity in local authorities. Participants were positive that these barriers could be overcome through, for example, increasing communication and joint working between planning and public health teams, learning from best practices and successes in other locations, making better use of health evidence and the powers available to planners, and including a wider range of voices in the local planning policy process. 

Getting Research into Practice 2 (GRIP2) was commissioned by Public Health England (PHE), now Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), and delivered in collaboration with the Town and Country Planning Association.