Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) for Planning and Development

The link between planning and health has long been established and almost every planning decision or policy has a potential effect on human health. Good planning and development has a positive effect on healthy lifestyles; this could be through ensuring there is access to safe and convenient green spaces or ensuring air quality levels remain at a safe level.

What is a HIA?

A HIA is a tool that enables developers to judge the potential effects of a development on the health of a population.  Completing a HIA on development proposals enables the developer to demonstrate their assessment of the health and wellbeing implications.  It should not only identify potential harms such as poor air quality and noise pollution but also highlight any positive health benefits it brings to an area for example: good quality housing, social cohesion and access to public services.

When is a HIA required?

Where developments fall into areas of high deprivation, where major development is planned or at officer discretion there will be a necessity to complete a Health Impact Assessment (HIA). More information to support your planning proposal can be found on the Planning Application information requirements and validation checklist document.

A screening tool to check if a HIA is required can be found below.

Why is a HIA required for some applications?

Some areas of Doncaster have high levels of deprivation and residents experience poorer health outcomes compared to other more affluent areas

The Health and Social Care Act (2012) gave local authorities new duties and responsibilities for health improvement and health protection.  The Act requires every local authority to use all the levers at its disposal to improve health and wellbeing.  The promotion and protection of health and wellbeing is being embedded throughout all directorates and functions of the Council, including spatial planning and development management

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the purpose of the planning system as being "to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development."  Ensuring a strong, healthy and just society is recognised by the NPPF and Securing the Future (UK Sustainable Development Strategy) as one of the guiding principles' of sustainable development.

The inclusion of a HIA as part of the application process enables developers to ensure the creation of sustainable developments which support communities by:

  • Demonstrating that health impacts have been properly considered when preparing, evaluating and determining development proposals.
  • Ensuring developments contribute to the creation of a strong, healthy and just society.
  • Helping applicants to demonstrate that they have worked closely with those directly affected by their proposals to evolve designs that take account of the views of the community.
  • Identifying and highlighting any beneficial impacts on health and wellbeing of a particular development scheme.
  • Identifying and taking action to minimise any negative impacts on health and wellbeing of a particular development scheme.

How to undertake a HIA

To simplify and streamline the process of carrying out a HIA of a development scheme or proposal we produced a Microsoft Form for each of the different types of development alongside a Guidance document to assist with the completion of the HIA.

If you need any additional advice regarding the HIA process for planning then please email the team on


Guidance and Forms

Please find links to the forms below. The guidance and a PDF of each of the forms can be found in the downloads & resources section. If you have any trouble accessing the documents or forms please contact one of the team.
Last updated: 12 July 2024 09:41:16

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