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Health Impact Assessment Consultants for Planning

Planning is a complex process. It involves many factors, including health and wellbeing impacts.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a tool that helps in this regard. It assesses both positive and negative health impacts of development proposals.

But undertaking a HIA is not a simple task. It requires expertise and understanding of the planning policy framework.

This is where Health Impact Assessment Consultants come in. They guide the HIA process, ensuring it aligns with local plans and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

But what is role of HIA Consultants in planning? We will explain when and why to undertake a HIA, and how it integrates within local plans and the NPPF.

This is Aval’s guide to Health Impact Assessment Consultants for planning.

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Understanding Health Impact Assessments (HIA)

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a systematic process. It evaluates the potential health effects of a policy, program, or project.

HIA is used in spatial planning and development proposals. It helps to identify health risks and benefits associated with a proposed action.

The process involves several steps:

  1. Screening: Determines if a HIA is needed.
  2. Scoping: Identifies what health impacts to consider.
  3. Assessment: Evaluates the potential health impacts.
  4. Recommendations: Suggests actions to enhance positive impacts and mitigate negative ones.
  5. Reporting: Documents the process, findings, and recommendations.
  6. Monitoring and evaluation: Tracks the implementation of recommendations and evaluates the HIA process.

HIA is not just about identifying negative impacts. It also highlights potential positive impacts on health and wellbeing.

It’s a proactive approach to health in planning. It helps to create environments that promote health and wellbeing.

Official government guidance is available as well as local guidance such as this example from London.

In the next section, we will explore the role of Health Impact Assessment Consultants in this process.

The Role of HIA Consultants in Spatial Planning

Aval’s Health Impact Assessment Consultants play a crucial role in spatial planning. They guide the HIA process from start to finish.

Our professionals bring expertise in health, planning, and policy. They ensure that health considerations are integrated into planning decisions.

HIA Consultants work closely with local authorities, developers, and other stakeholders. They help to identify potential health impacts of development proposals.

Their role is not just about identifying risks. They also suggest measures to enhance positive impacts and mitigate negative ones. This helps to create healthier communities.

When and Why to Undertake a Health Impact Assessment

Undertaking a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is crucial during the planning phase of any major development. It helps to predict the health impacts of a proposed project or policy.

The HIA process is not just a regulatory requirement. It’s a proactive approach to health in planning. It helps to identify potential health risks and benefits early on.

The need for a HIA can arise in various scenarios. These include infrastructure projects, urban regeneration, housing developments, and more.

Here are some key reasons to undertake a HIA:

  • To assess potential health impacts of a proposed project.
  • To inform decision-making and enhance positive health outcomes.
  • To engage with communities and consider their health concerns.
  • To comply with local and national planning policy frameworks.

The Integration of HIA within Local Plans and the NPPF

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) emphasizes the role of Health Impact Assessments (HIA) in planning. It encourages local authorities to consider health and wellbeing impacts in their local plans.

HIA is a tool that helps to align development proposals with the objectives of the NPPF. It ensures that planning decisions promote healthy communities and sustainable development.

Local plans play a crucial role in shaping the health of communities. By integrating HIA within these plans, local authorities can make informed decisions. They can balance economic growth with the health needs of the community.

In conclusion, the integration of HIA within local plans and the NPPF is key. It ensures that health considerations are not overlooked in the planning process. It promotes the creation of healthy, sustainable environments.

Assessing the Positive and Negative Health and Wellbeing Impacts

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a comprehensive tool. It assesses both positive and negative health impacts of development proposals. This balanced approach is crucial for sustainable planning.

Positive impacts could include improved access to green spaces or healthcare facilities. Negative impacts might involve increased noise pollution or traffic congestion. HIA Consultants provide a detailed analysis of these impacts.

Understanding these impacts helps in making informed planning decisions. It ensures that the benefits of development are maximised while the risks are minimised. This balance is key to promoting health and wellbeing in communities.

In conclusion, assessing both positive and negative health impacts is vital. It ensures that planning decisions are based on a comprehensive understanding of their potential health implications. It contributes to the creation of healthier, more sustainable communities.

The Process: How to Undertake a HIA

Undertaking a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) involves a systematic process. It requires careful planning and execution. HIA Consultants guide this process with their expertise.

The process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Screening: Determining if a HIA is required for the proposed development.
  2. Scoping: Identifying the potential health impacts to be assessed.
  3. Assessment: Evaluating the potential health impacts.
  4. Recommendations: Suggesting measures to enhance positive impacts and mitigate negative ones.
  5. Reporting: Documenting the findings and recommendations.

In conclusion, undertaking a HIA is a meticulous process. It requires a comprehensive understanding of the proposed development and its potential health impacts.

Case Studies: HIA Consultants Influencing Healthier Communities

HIA Consultants have played pivotal roles in shaping healthier communities. Their expertise has been instrumental in various development projects. Let’s look at a few examples.

In urban regeneration projects, HIA Consultants have helped to ensure that new developments promote health and wellbeing. They have assessed potential impacts on air quality, noise levels, and access to green spaces.

In another instance, HIA Consultants have influenced the planning of educational facilities. They have ensured that the design and location of these facilities promote physical activity and mental wellbeing among students. These case studies highlight the significant role of HIA Consultants in planning healthier communities.

The Future of Health Impact Assessment for Planning

The role of Aval’s Health Impact Assessment Consultants in planning is set to become even more critical. As we strive for sustainable development, their expertise will be key in ensuring health and wellbeing are at the forefront of planning decisions.

In the future, we can expect to see HIA becoming a standard part of the planning process. This will help to create healthier, more resilient communities, and ensure that development proposals contribute positively to public health.

More information on Avals health impact assessments can be found here.

 

Free Initial Consultation and Quote

Call us on 0333 006 2524
Email to contact@aval-group.co.uk

Health Impact Assessment Consultants : FAQs

What is the role of Health Impact Assessment Consultants in planning?

Health Impact Assessment Consultants play a crucial role in guiding the HIA process, ensuring that health considerations are integrated into planning decisions. They work with various stakeholders to identify potential health impacts of development proposals and suggest measures to enhance positive impacts and mitigate negative ones.

When and why should a Health Impact Assessment be undertaken?

A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) should be undertaken during the planning phase of any major development project to predict the health impacts of the proposed project or policy. It helps to identify potential health risks and benefits early on, inform decision-making, engage with communities, and comply with local and national planning policy frameworks.

How does Health Impact Assessment integrate within local plans and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) encourages the integration of Health Impact Assessments (HIA) within local plans to consider health and wellbeing impacts. HIA ensures that planning decisions align with the objectives of the NPPF, promoting healthy communities and sustainable development.

What are the steps involved in undertaking a Health Impact Assessment?

The process of undertaking a Health Impact Assessment involves screening to determine the need for a HIA, scoping to identify health impacts, assessment to evaluate potential impacts, recommendations to suggest actions, and reporting to document findings and recommendations.

How do Health Impact Assessment Consultants influence the creation of healthier communities?

Health Impact Assessment Consultants influence the creation of healthier communities by assessing potential impacts on air quality, noise levels, access to green spaces, and promoting physical activity and mental wellbeing in various development projects. Their expertise ensures that planning decisions prioritize health and wellbeing.