New measures will help developers create a healthier North Lincolnshire

Councillor Rob Waltham
Councillor Rob Waltham

North Lincolnshire Council looks set to agree new health guidelines that developers must consider before submitting their plans to the council.

The new measures will help tackle North Lincolnshire’s growing obesity levels and ensure that people have greater choices to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Developers would need to demonstrate to planners that they have considered health implications at the design stage of their development as part of the planning process.

Evidence shows that the design of the built environment has a significant impact on physical and mental health. The ‘Planning for Health and Wellbeing’ supplementary planning document (SPD) has been written collaboratively by senior planning and public health staff at the council. The aim of the SPD is to ensure places are well designed so that healthier choices are easier.

While SPDs do not have the status of the statutory development plan, they do have material weight in the consideration of planning applications.

The SPD sets the basis for discussions at pre-application stage; ensuring health is an early consideration in the planning process. It is intended to be used by planners, developers and investors in both smaller developments and larger regeneration projects.

Councillor Rob Waltham, Deputy Leader of North Lincolnshire Council said: “We need to offer people greater health choices. Developers can play a key role by ensuring their new development has the right balance to help people lead a healthier lifestyle.

“It is crucial that opportunities exist for people to make healthier lifestyle choices. There is overwhelming evidence to show that poor environments contribute significantly to poor health and health inequalities.

“Developing strong, healthy and vibrant communities is vital to ensuring the wellbeing of the people of North Lincolnshire. We want to ‘design in health’ like we aim to ‘design out crime’.

“Since public health moved to the council in 2013, we are now in a prime position to simultaneously influence health, housing, transport and regeneration, to improve our area for everyone who lives and works here.”