Scarborough Beach Redevelopment
Western Australia | Urban
To ensure the provision of a healthy and active community, the Environmental Health team at the Shire has embraced the Healthy Active by Design (HAbD) Tool and the Healthy Built Food Environment (HBFE) Advocacy Prompter and embedded them into development.
The Shire’s Environmental Health team has embraced the strategic urban planning thinking that is at the foundation of the HAbD Tool and the HBFE Advocacy Prompter. At the Shire (as in most other local authorities) the statutory planning team refer scheme amendments, local planning policy, structure plans and development applications to the various internal departments. These departments are required to review the application and provide comments and recommend conditions of development approval. This process can be challenging.
Statutory planning terminology is different to the language and terms used by other professionals, be it engineering, health or even strategic planning. The HAbD Checklists and the HBFE Advocacy Prompter provide questions that can be asked of the assessing town planning officers. It is a starting point for a richer more robust conversation around establishing a healthier community.
The team have taken the HAbD Checklists and HBFE Advocacy Prompter and identified the objectives that can be implemented at each stage of the planning process. In addition, the Environmental Health team quickly learnt that not all principles will relate to the project currently under review. Each development proposal has different characteristics and opportunities. The team knows they need the skills to identify the opportunities, and the planning language to communicate the vision to the town planners to get the best results.
The Environmental Health team has utilised the HAbD tool since 2014, when it was used to review The Glades structure plan. As the team has gained a better understanding of planning processes and what is possible at each stage of approvals they have modified the HAbD Checklists and HBFE Advocacy Prompter to respond to their local context. Now the team use these new skills to have an impact on projects such as the Whitby Project design, applications for intensive agricultural land use and the new residential estates across the Shire.
The policy work undertaken by the Environmental Health team has reaped its rewards. The Byford Glades Community Garden is established and thriving. The garden group is about building food security and nutritional health in fun ways. Importantly, the Shire officers are invested in the success of the project and recently provided advice on keeping chickens at the garden and approved an application for a bee hive.
Through innovation and tenacity the Environmental Health team have positioned themselves as integral to all strategic planning decisions. They are laying the foundation for good local planning policy that will have a positive influence for generations to come.
No additional cost to the day to day operation of the Environmental Health Team at the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.