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Building the Foundations - Tackling obesity through planning 2016

The Town and Country Planning Association, Public Health England and the Local Government Association, with support from Leeds Beckett University and local councils, have published a report, Building the foundations: Tackling obesity through planning and development.

The practice-based report is the result of a workshop series in 2015 demonstrating innovative practice from fourteen local authority areas across England and their partners on how to tackle obesity and other problems by using planning policy and in making decisions on new housing and mixed use developments. It builds on the work in 2014 on the Planning Healthy Weight Environments publication which was launched by the Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, in December 2014. The publication illustrates a range of interventions within the planning and design of a new development, or for an existing community, that can help in creating an environment which supports healthier lifestyle choices, and was also the result of a workshops series with local councils throughout 2014. 

Key areas of local actions:

  1. Leadership is vital
  2. Towards whole-system policies on obesity
  3. Support public health and planning teams to collaborate effectively in development management (planning applications process). 
  4. Agree a consistent and holistic approachfor assessing planning applications for their implications on shaping a healthy weight environment.Councils might consider using the TCPA’s six healthy weight elements to guide this process.
  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of healthy weight environment initiatives
  6. Develop ways to gather evidence of healthy weight environments that is appropriate for planning
  7. Support delivery through knowledge and skills development


The Building the foundations: Tackling obesity through planning and development (March 2016) publication can be downloaded here

The Planning healthy weight environments (December 2014) publication and supplementary publications can be downloaded here

The 2015 Workshop series details can be accessed below:

  1. Wakefield Council - 5 March, Wakefield. AgendaExample
  2. Portsmouth City Council - 13 March, Portsmouth Guildhall. AgendaExamples
  3. Newcastle City Council - 16 March, Newcastle Civic Centre. AgendaExamples
  4. Greater Manchester Public Health Network - 11 June, Oldham. AgendaExample.
  5. PHE South East - 14 July, Wokingham. AgendaExamples
  6. Warwickshire County Council - 16 July, Stoneleigh. AgendaExamples 
  7. Norfolk County Council - 21 July, Hethel. AgendaExamples
  8. London Borough of Hackney  - 27 July, Hackney. AgendaExamples
  9. London Borough of Richmond - 1 September, Richmond. AgendaExamples
  10. Northamptonshire County Council - 3 September, County Hall. AgendaExamples
  11. Nottinghamshire County Council - 1 OctoberNottingham. AgendaExamples
  12. North East councils (North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland and Northumberland) - 7 October, Newcastle. AgendaExamples
  13. London Borough of Haringey - 9 October. AgendaExample
  14. Royal Borough of Greenwich - 27 October, Woolwich. AgendaExamples

The TCPA acknowledges the support of Public Health England and Local Government Association with contributions from Leeds Beckett University and the councils involved in the workshops. The TCPA also acknowledgement the support of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), Planning Officers Society and the Greater Manchester Public Health Network. 

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