Health Impact Assessment

Health Impact Assessment and Spatial Planning

We need Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) to be submitted as part of the planning application for specific development schemes considered likely to have a significant impact on health and wellbeing. For example, major development sites which fall into areas of the highest health deprivation.

What is HIA?

HIA is a practical approach used to judge the effects a proposed development may have on the health and wellbeing of different groups of people. The findings of HIAs are used to make recommendations to decision makers as to how any positive health impacts of a particular scheme may be increased and any negative impacts reduced.

Why is a HIA required form some applications?

The Health and Social Care Act (2012) gave local authorities new duties and responsibilities for health improvement and health protection. The Act requires every local authority to use all the levers at its disposal to improve health and wellbeing. The promotion and protection of health and wellbeing being embedded throughout all directorates and functions of the Council, including spatial planning and development management

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the purpose of the planning system as being "to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development."  Ensuring a strong, healthy and just society is recognised by the NPPF and Securing the Future (UK Sustainable Development Strategy) as one of the guiding principles' of sustainable development.

HIA promotes sustainable developments that support the creation of strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by:

  • demonstrating that health impacts have been properly considered when preparing, evaluating and determining development proposals
  • ensuring developments contribute to the creation of a strong, healthy and just society
  • helping applicants to demonstrate that they have worked closely with those directly affected by their proposals to evolve designs that take account of the views of the community
  • identifying and highlighting any beneficial impacts on health and wellbeing of a particular development scheme
  • identifying and taking action to minimise any negative impacts on health and wellbeing of a particular development scheme

Where to get help to undertake a HIA?

To simplify and streamline the process of carrying out a HIA of a development scheme or proposal we have created a HIA for Planning Toolkit.

Additional advice and support to carry out a Health Impact Assessment for planning is also available from our Health Improvement Team

John Wilcox

Health Improvement Team Leader


Contact Us

Health Improvement Wakefield One Burton Street Wakefield WF1 2EB

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