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Call for local authority planners to help with health research

Researchers at UWE Bristol and the University of Bristol are appealing for local authority planners, local plan officers and public health officials to take part in research that will help integrate health into local plans.

The Bristol teams are working with the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) to deliver the project to provide local authority planning and public health teams with much needed support to better integrate health in local plans.a model of a village with a bridge in the background

This work is part of the wider TRUUD (‘Tackling the Root causes Upstream of Unhealthy Urban Development’) research project, which aims to work with decision makers and communities to design interventions that prioritise health in urban development decision-making to reduce non-communicable diseases and address health inequalities. 

The researchers wish to work with partner LPAs on guidance development to ensure its relevance and value for those working in local authority settings.

They are specifically looking for support in reviewing and ‘sense checking’ draft guidance. Feedback will be considered and acknowledged in the final published version of the guidance.

This will involve maximum of two 1-hour online meetings per LPA in June/July 2024, following a brief initial online meeting to agree involvement.

Emma Bird, Senior Lecturer in Public Health at UWE Bristol said: ‘We are seeking to work with planning officers who have specific involvement in local plan development and / or public health practitioners with responsibilities for health and planning, from unitary or combined local authorities in England in the early stages of local plan development.’

‘We want to provide local authority planning and public health teams with much needed support to better integrate health in local plans. It’s really important that we include these professionals in shaping the guidance to ensure that it meets the needs of those working in a local authority context.’

Following receipt of submissions, up to four LPAs will be selected to contribute to the project. The selection process will take place week comencing 13th May 2024 and local authority contacts will be notified soon after selection for an initial Teams conversation with the project team.

Feedback on draft guidance from selected LPAs will be requested during June and July 2024.

The deadline to express an interest is 5pm Friday 10th May.

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