Health Impact Assessments

The Health Impact Assessment guidance has been up-dated and now includes the wider Essex Healthier Places guidance which gives more in-depth information on what needs to be considered when looking at health, wellbeing and the environment. Embedded throughout all documents are the Sport England Active Design Principles which are a key element that should underpin all new development across Essex and Southend.

Health Impact Assessments should be submitted of all new school buildings over a gross development area greater than 1000sqm.

The Health Impact Assessment guidance sets out a series of principles to encourage and improve education, skills and local employment and educational spaces;

  • Seek early advice from the local education authority around any education requirements that may be required from the proposed development. Essex County Council have their own specific formula for calculating need for early years, primary and secondary school spaces which is within the Developer’s Guide.
  • Connectivity is essential – new schools need to be linked to the urban layout. New school needs to be heavily connected to walk/cycle routes and the green infrastructure network.
  • Hierarchy of travel principle should be central – walk/cycle/public transport/car – should not be designed around the car.
  • Have car free zones around schools ideally. On site drop off facilities or points close to the school entrance that could encourage greater car use will not be supported. Ensure that associated traffic safety measures are part of any plans and consider community engagement for this.
  • Deliver safe walking and cycling routes that connect to attractive traffic free spaces around school gates that create a sense of community and make it a pleasure to walk or cycle to school.
  • Ancillary Infrastructure – schools should have cycle storage on site/bag/equipment storage/bike maintenance stations, water fountains/showers.
  • Sports Facilities - Consideration should be given to the siting and design of sport and recreation facilities such as sports halls, school halls, MUGAs, playing fields, informal recreation areas in order to encourage formal and informal activity by pupils and community users. As well as conventional facilities provided on school sites, sport and recreation provision guidance could consider opportunities such as trim trails, running routes, using mounds for viewing activity and as running routes, cycle trails. Detailed guidance on this is in Sport England’s PE and Sport guidance.
  • Community Access: The school should be designed to encourage community access outside of school hours to maximise opportunities for the community to use the school’s facilities for physical activity and sport i.e. relationship of reception to school hall, MUGA, playing field etc, provision of toilets/changing that are accessible to reception etc.
  • Seek advice from Active Travel teams who can provide information, advice and guidance on the implementation of School Travel Plans to promote and encourage walking, cycling and scooting to school.
  • Consider public transport accessibility for students and workers who may have to travel for their education or workplace and consult with passenger transport providers early on.
  • Where possible, as part of the construction phase, look at the local supply chain for the development. Consider if you can encourage the up-take of apprenticeships and the use of local workers which could support community wealth building.
  • If allocating workplaces or commercial centres on site, consider workplace health as part of the building design standards.
  • Think about workplaces in the widest sense how they can support active travel, green space access and access to food on site or in the locality as the average UK full time worker in 2017 spent 37.4 hours working.
  • Opportunities for encouraging local employment from commercial space could be supported through the development of a local employment strategy that are inclusive and support reducing inequality.
  • The use of green roofs, green walls and green space should be part of landscaping for commercial and workspaces.
  • Adequate facilities around workplaces should be considered. This includes access to childcare and day nursery services

Page updated: 11/09/2019

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