Will show how infrastructure and facilities are used and their capacity to accommodate further demands. It provides a basis for assessing how an area operates and how much stress it is under and would cover: car parking and public space management, school place availability, capacity of GP surgeries, employment space availability.

Simply recording the existence of infrastructure and facilities tells us very little. It is necessary to supplement this information with an understanding of how such resources are used and their capacity to accommodate further demands.

Some aspects of an area’s operational context (such as transport) already require evaluation as part of the planning application process – but others do not. In pursuit of sustainable development, it is therefore important to gain a clear understanding of how an area operates, how much stress its facilities are under and how much potential there is for growth before further investment becomes necessary.

This part of the Context Appraisal should examine a selection of the most critical aspects of the operational context of a locality, including public space management (squares, streets and spaces); car parking management; the availability of school and pre-school places; vacancy of floorspace; and the capacities of doctors’ surgeries.

Page updated: 1/02/2018

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