Policy SC 3: Health and Well-Being

The council and its partners will create and safeguard opportunities for safe, healthy, fulfilling and active lifestyles by:

  1. Working in partnership with the health and social care providers to improve health across Cheshire East and reduce inequalities;
  2. Requiring Screening or Rapid Impact Assessments as part of the application process on all major development proposals. This will involve a review of the possible health impacts of a policy or proposal. Screening should include:
    1. Who may be affected by the proposal;
    2. What determinants of health may be affected; and
    3. What further evidence is needed to inform the recommendations.

Screening will determine if a full Health Impact Assessment is required. The council will seek contributions towards new or enhanced health and social care facilities from developers where development results in a shortfall or worsening of provision;

  1. Ensuring new developments provide opportunities for healthy living and improve health and well-being through the encouragement of walking and cycling, good housing design (including the minimisation of social isolation and creation of inclusive communities), access to services, sufficient open space and other green infrastructure, and sports facilities and opportunity for recreation and sound safety standards;
  2. Improving education and skills training and encouraging life-long learning;
  3. Protecting existing community infrastructure and ensuring the provision of a network of community facilities, providing essential public services together with private and voluntary sector facilities, to meet the needs of the local community;
  4. Ensuring all development is designed to create safe environments by:
    1. Ensuring the natural surveillance of streets and public spaces;
    2. Providing convenient, well designed, all weather, safe access and movement routes for all;
    3. Promoting activity that is appropriate to the area, by encouraging a diversity of uses (where appropriate) to extend activity to ensure the safe use of spaces during the day and night;
    4. Encourage green spaces and play areas to be located away from main roads;
    5. Creating a sense of ownership by providing a clear definition between public and private realm;
    6. Ensuring security measures are sympathetically incorporated into the design;
    7. Ensuring the layout and use of new developments are appropriate and compatible with an area. Any new open space should be well defined, flexible and purposeful; and
    8. Strongly encouraging the reuse of vacant and derelict buildings and spaces;
  5. Promoting the role of communal growing spaces including allotments, garden plots within developments, small scale agriculture and farmers' markets in providing access to healthy, affordable, locally produced food options


12.22 The Health and Social Care Act 2012 places a duty upon local authorities to take such steps as it considers appropriate for improving the health of the people in its area.

12.23 One of the Core Principles of the National Planning Policy Framework states that planning should 'take account of and support local strategies to improve health, social and cultural wellbeing for all, and deliver sufficient community and cultural facilities and services to meet local needs'.

12.24 Life expectancy in Cheshire East is higher than regional (North West) and the national (England) averages. Life expectancy at birth for females is 83.3 years, compared to 81.5 years in the North West and 82.9 years nationally. Life expectancy at birth for males is 80.1 years, compared to 77.4 in the North West and 78.9 nationally footnote 49. However, there are pockets of poor health: there is a gap of around 10 years in male life expectancy and nearly 15 years for female life expectancy between some of the local areas within Cheshire East footnote 50.

12.25 Population projections produced by the Office for National Statistics and locally produced population forecasts produced for the Local Plan both suggest that the number of people aged 65 years and over will continue to increase, with those aged 85 years and over likely to increase at the fastest rate. This is partly due to increased longevity, but is also a consequence of the age structure of the population and in particular the ageing of the large number of people born during the post World War 2 baby boom.

12.26 Having timely and easy access to a range of health and social care services and community infrastructure is a key issue for local people and creating opportunities for healthier and more active lifestyles is part of evolving national policy. The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment highlights that 'adult participation in physical activity, as measured through sport and active recreation, in Cheshire East is generally similar to the national average, whilst activity rates are lowest in Crewe and Nantwich and highest in Macclesfield. Physical activity is important in childhood to support healthy growth and development, psychological well-being and social interaction. Obesity in childhood can lead to risks of coronary heart disease, strokes and poor mental health in later life, all causes of premature death. Across Cheshire East, 8.2 per cent of all children were obese in 2010 although this is less than the national average (9.6 per cent)' footnote 51.

12.27 Encouraging residents to live a healthy lifestyle involves the provision of facilities to encourage regular exercise, maximising the opportunities provided by the natural landscape of the borough to improve their health. The Public Health Outcomes Framework for England (2013) sets the context for local areas to decide what public health interventions they will make. It sets out two overarching outcomes:

  1. Increased life expectancy; and
  2. Reduced differences in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between communities.

12.28 Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires local authorities to do all they reasonably can to prevent crime and disorder and stipulates that the prevention of crime and the enhancement of community safety are matters that a local planning authority should consider in its plans and decisions. Crime and the fear of crime have a great impact on quality of life and general well-being, meaning that designing high quality and safe developments is an important aspect of creating places where people want to live, work and play. A contributory factor to improving safety is to create and sustain a ‘sense of place’, where people take pride in their surroundings. It will also be important to ensure that new developments are designed to a high standard and incorporate the key principles of good design as set out in ‘By Design’ (DETR 2000). The production of a Design and Access Statement is an important part of development proposals (see Policy SE 1 'Design'). Developers should request Crime Impact Statements (CIS) from their relevant Police Crime Commissioner body (PCC) to assist with the completion of the 'safer communities' section of the Design and Access Statement.

12.29 Any future Cheshire East Council policy on Health Impact Assessments will set out when a HIA is required in relation to new development. This policy (SC 3) will then be applied to new development in relation to Criterion 2.

Key Evidence

  1. Ageing well in Cheshire East Programme - A Plan for People aged 50 and over (2012-2017)
  2. Cheshire East Joint Strategic Needs Assessment: Population Projections, (2010)
  3. Cheshire East Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2014-2016)
  4. Building for Life Assessments
  5. Cheshire East Health Impact Assessment Policy
  6. Five Year Forward View (NHS, October 2014).

(Footnote 49) Life expectancy at birth and at age 65 by local areas in England and Wales, 2009-11, ONS. Crown Copyright.

(Footnote 50) Source: Life Expectancy at Birth, Department for Health, August 2012.

(Footnote 51) Cheshire East Council Child Poverty Needs Assessment 2011.

Policy information


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