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Planning and building

Health Impact Assessment Guidance

A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a tool to assist in identifying, assessing, and mitigating health impacts which arise because of a development within the city of York. It can appraise both positive (for example, active lifestyle) and negative (for example, gaps in GP capacity) impacts on the different affected subgroups of the population that might result from the development.

The findings of the HIA are used to identify actions or mitigations that aim to minimise any potential negative health impacts and maximise potential positive health impacts. It provides the opportunity to amend the design of a proposed development to protect and improve health.

A HIA is required for some planning applications because policy HW7 of the emerging Local Plan states that all new strategic sites complete a HIA and submit it as part of the planning application (outline and reserved matters). Further information on strategic sites can be found in the new Local Plan.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out that planning policies and decision should aim to achieve healthy, inclusive and safe places. Healthy lifestyles should be enabled and supported particularly where this addresses identified local health and wellbeing needs. The Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) further identifies that HIAs can be a useful tool where there are likely to be significant impacts on the health and wellbeing of the local community.

A HIA can be undertaken to support planning applications for many different types of development and to demonstrate compliance with a range of policies in the emerging Local Plan. In particular policies in:

  • Section 5: Housing
  • Section 6: Health and Wellbeing
  • Section 7: Education
  • Section 8: Placemaking, Heritage, Design and Culture
  • Section 9: Green Infrastructure
  • Section 12: Environmental Quality and Flood Risk
  • Section 14: Transport and Communications

The HIA will be considered alongside other planning documentation and consultee responses when determining the planning application.

How to complete a HIA

We're in the process of writing a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) giving detailed guidance to positively influence the health impacts from development on communities in the city. The document will also include detailed information on how to conduct a HIA, and how we will evaluate any information submitted to us. While we're undertaking this work the Department for Health HIA template provides a useful guide.

There are 3 broad types of HIA, each suited to different situations

  1. Comprehensive - complex proposals, major schemes, and development targeting a population group with specific health needs
  2. Rapid - an initial assessment to inform the completion of a comprehensive HIA
  3. Desktop - for smaller schemes (not major development)

We're happy to provide advice on the most appropriate types of HIA. Contact us if you have any questions.

Further resources

You can use the Department for Health HIA template when undertaking a HIA. In addition, use these examples of best practice to help you:

You can also find examples of local evidence by:

Also see

Public Health Team

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 553866