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T8: Social Infrastructure

Sustainable communities are places where people want to live and work now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of residents, are sensitive to their environment and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe, well-planned, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all.

Place-making and the spatial planning system make the provision of social infrastructure central to the delivery of successful places and communities. The successful planning and delivery of services requires an understanding of the capital and revenue costs of service provision, how services are provided and operated and by who, the likely needs of the new community, and collaborative working to ensure that the right blend of services are available to local communities in the right locations and at the right time.

This paper provides information to assist in planning for new social infrastructure as part of large scale development projects and covers:

  • the scope and definition of social & community infrastructure;
  • the role of social infrastructure in the context of strategic planning policy and the focus on spatial planning, including the interrelationships between the Local Plan and other policies and programmes;
  • key issues and the guiding principles that should be considered when planning for social infrastructure and mechanisms to draw social infrastructure stakeholders into the process;
  • approaches to gathering relevant evidence such as population profiling and impact analysis; 
  • using the information collated to contribute to sustainable community building; 
  • specific guidance focussed on key social infrastructure components, such as health, education, leisure, emergency services, community development and faith; and 
  • Funding and timing of delivery of services.

It is important to recognise that each of the separate social infrastructure components are guided by separate strategic policy, involve different stakeholders and are governed by differing regulatory regimes. It is not the purpose of this part of the ATLAS Guide to comprehensively address each of these in detail, but to extract some key guiding principles to aid and inform their consideration as part of the evolution and delivery of large scale proposals.

ATLAS has also prepared a practice note to be downloaded on Health Impact Assessment (HIA). The note, based on ATLAS' experience, outlines the nature and role of HIA, best practice examples and some pointers towards successful HIA.

Last Updated on Monday 29/06/2015 - 12:19PM

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Advisory Team for Large Applications (ATLAS), 2017