A Joint Spatial Plan in the UK is a rare opportunity to plan for a healthier future, in this case for an area called the ‘West of England’. This is a 20 year plan that will, arguably, set the location, form and quality of development for the places where people will live, work, learn and play for the next 100 years or more.

However, Bristol Health Partners believes that the latest version of the plan doesn’t address public health issues strongly enough. A response was co-ordinated by the ‘Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments’ team at Bristol Health Partners in response to the consultation. This team, supported by other specialist teams focussing on children, dementia and older people, compiled an evidence-based response urging planners to commit to deliberately building in health both at this early stage, and then iteratively at every stage as the plans develop.

In a submission to the consultation on the latest version, Bristol Health Partners Director David Relph says:

“The Joint Spatial Plan is also a perfect opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to ‘Health in All Policies’ – an ambitious plan could yield positive results for the economy and environment as well as health. Opportunities to grasp these linked benefits come along rarely – the JSP is a perfect opportunity to do this and I urge you to look again at our original submission.”

While the latest version of the plan does make reference to the importance of public health, the detailed evidence that Bristol Health Partners made to the original consultation in 2016 has not been incorporated. In addition, a commitment to creating healthy place-making needs stronger articulation in terms of the tools and processes to be embedded in subsequent stages of development.

Further details: Joint spatial plan must address public health issues, Bristol Health Partners urges

Full evidence-based response: Download the Bristol Health Partners response (PDF)

Website for the: West of England Joint Spatial Plan publications and documents