Agenda item

The importance of health considerations in the preparation of and content of the new local plan

This report sets out summary information about health and how and why it sits as an overarching subject matter application.


The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management presented a report that provided Members with key issues about how and why health considerations were applicable to the many aspects and policy areas of the local plan and how these issues could impact the local plan work currently being done.


Non-Committee Members comments included:

·         Reference was made to paragraph 3.2 and the lack of reference to public toilet provision in the local plan.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised he was happy to give this some thought but highlighted that the majority of public toilets were owned by the Council and so there was no need for planning policy to control them.

·         In agreement with walkable neighbourhoods and the need for cycle routes but there is also a need for cycle infrastructure such as bike stores and a bike hire scheme;

·         Reference to paragraph 11 and access to wholesome, locally produced foods and support was expressed for pursuing a policy to limit clusters of fast food outlets in towns;

·         There is no reference to the Poverty Strategy that was recently approved as a council policy.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised this would be incorporated into the key policies where appropriate in the local plan.

·         Reference to paragraph 8.1 and support expressed for energy efficient homes


Committee Members discussion included:

·         The report was welcomed by Members;

·         Reference made to paragraph 1.5 and a slight concern was raised when developers cannot provide high quality education, training and employment;

·         The market will decide whether fast food outlets are required in towns, it should not be for the Council to limit clusters through planning policy;

·         Welcome the focus on the health benefits of active travel as not enough attention is paid on this;

·         Would like to see in the local plan that all new developments produce a travel plan showing how the residents of that development are going to travel and design developments with cycle storage and provision for cycle and walking routes;

·         New developments should provide allotments or gardens for people to grow their own produce to encourage healthier diets;

·         Further suggestion for allotments particularly on the larger developments;

·         Landscaping in our towns is critical;

·         Reference made to paragraphs 7.2 and 7.3 about public transport and concerns raised about overcrowding especially since the pandemic;

·         Clarification sought on paragraph 8.1 and how can Building Control be influenced to make sure houses are energy efficient so people do not end up paying high energy bills.  It was advised there was a need to wait for government guidance on how to move forward on low carbon developments.

·         Reference made to paragraph 9.1 about air quality and a suggestion was made to include smell which can be extremely harmful to residents when they have an unsociable neighbour.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management referred to environmental nuisances which included smell, noise, fly nuisance from farms etc. and acknowledged these nuisances can impact on mental health.


That the overall importance of taking health considerations, including environmental nuisances such as smell and noise into account and promoting healthy lifestyles through the local plan were endorsed.

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