9. Supporting Communities
- The NPPF7 identifies that planning should support social interaction, be safe and accessible and support healthy, inclusive safe places.
- Loneliness is associated with an increase of premature mortality by 26% and social interactions are known to be positive to health.
- Only 27% of people feel that they can influence decisions affecting their local area and the TCPA have identified that key factors such as
community engagement, community ownership of assets and community stewardship are all important for success of new places.
- Public Health England in 2018 found that community life, social connections and having a voice in local decisions were all key factors contributing to positive health and wellbeing. These 3 elements are known
as ‘community determinants’.
- It identified ‘community health assets’ as being key to positive health and supporting the reduction in health inequalities.
How to encourage and support community participation and lifetime neighbourhoods;
- Incorporate community engagement and leadership of the development as part of the planning, design and future management phases of the project.
- Ensure that community safety and wellbeing is part of plans and engage with the police and fire service as appropriate about plans.
- Early identification for the provision of infrastructure is important and early community engagement on this should be sought.
- The timing of the delivery of identified infrastructure. Think about when facilities such as schools, healthcare, public transport and shops should be delivered.
- Consider the development of a community development strategy and the inclusion of community development workers that can support new communities and ensure communities mix.
- A variety of stewardship and governance models/frameworks exists that can be used including those by the TCPA.
- Ensure that communities are accessible and inclusive with opportunities to socialise. This can help with reducing the feeling of loneliness and reduce social isolation.
- Provide well-designed public spaces that support community participation, are inclusive and accessible and are underpinned by lifetime neighbourhood principles.
- Spaces should be well-lit and have adequate signage. Security and safety should be considered with an example being the secured by design principles. Safety and security are part of the NPPF 2018 up-date.
- Consider how to integrate existing communities with new developments so to ensure that new developments provide benefit to the wider communities in which they are built.
- When looking at facilities and services on a new development, make sure that these are accessible via well connected active travel routes and that
connections to facilities and services that are not on site but proximity to the development are considered. The appropriate Active Design principles must be assessed as part of the Health Impact Assessment process around space management and activity promotion (see HIA Guidance and Checklist).
Page updated: 8/10/2019