Author: Josh Artus - Healthy Places & Urban Strategy Lead, Centric Lab
With thanks to fundings from the Community Knowledge Fund we've now formally launched the Community Health Impact Assessment peer-to-peer learning programme, starting in the new year - www.urbanhealthcouncil.com/programs/chiat.
Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) should be more powerful with community voices shaping planning based on health needs. Existing legislation and guidance 'advise' on it, but the industry has skewed things to their advantage. We feel this can change by upholding the 4 values as directed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Our Community Health Impact Assessment peer-to-peer learning programme is for people and groups who feel the same and want to improve planning conditions and the behaviours of development stakeholders in their local areas.
(If you are not sure about who your MP is - we have some useful links on our Take Action page.)
Dear [MP Name]
Improving the Planning System
I am seeking your support in helping to improve the planning system by ensuring that it is genuinely evidence-based and that public sector organisations (including the government) use credible, up to date information at all times. I hope you will agree with me that this is imperative to maintain confidence in both the system and in the government's aims.
With this in mind, I would like you to write to the Prime Minister, copying the Secretary of State (DHLUC), on my behalf, requesting that policy be updated to ensure the latest data available from public sector sources is used in determining requirements and in making or publishing government statements. If this is not the case, the source of all figures used should be clearly stated.
Author: David Smith - Eastern Region Director at Ecological Planning & Research
Is wildlife and the natural world an escape from your routine? Is it part of your everyday? Is it a means by which you connect with the landscape around you? Perhaps a way to connect with people too?
For me, it’s all the above, and I don’t see that being in contradiction with my day job as an Ecological Consultant. If asked, however, I would call myself a birder, applied ecologist and wildlife conservationist. Again, not a contradiction in my view.
It’s from all these perspectives I have outlined my personal views on development in the farmed landscape and its effects on wildlife. In doing so, I realise I have not mentioned other issues that will matter dearly to people, such as the loss of Grade 1 agricultural land or the visual character of the places people work and live in. These are beyond my expertise.
Author: Rhiannon Fearn - Freeport Resident Action Group
The Government’s Agenda
Eight Freeports were announced by the Government last Year. Most recently they have been promoted in the Levelling-up White Paper, released Feb 2nd, as a way to increase prosperity and investment in the more deprived areas of the UK.
(Picture: The proposed site for EMIP. One of three sites proposed for the East Midlands.)
A closer look at the purpose and plan for these low tax, tariff free zones puts into question what they mean by the word ‘prosperous’. What will these Freeports mean for local communities and UK citizens?
Author: Marj Powner
We all recognise air pollution is a threat to the health of both humans and wildlife. And we know action is needed to introduce policies and measures that will reduce the harmful effects we are facing every day. The burden on the NHS, our economy and nature’s recovery is very visible.
With that in mind, more than 60 community representatives joined the online seminar hosted by the Community Planning Alliance (CPA) on 7th December, the first of three planned events aimed at engaging communities more actively in the air pollution/air quality debate. The lively chat inputs clearly showed the level of interest and concern about many issues, with questions about wood burning stoves and clean air zones being among the challenging topics raised with the speakers.
Author: Rosie Pearson
The Community Planning Alliance was founded on the back of conversations between campaigners from all over the UK who saw their local green spaces threatened by development (of all kinds).
We realised that we needed to understand the national, cumulative, scale of these many separate threats. And that is why our Grassroots Map was born.
Now containing more than 500 local campaigns, it paints a stark picture of the huge pressures the UK’s natural environment is facing – and just how broken the planning system is. With each of the habitats that people are campaigning to save being just one in a process of ‘death by a thousand cuts’.