Objective To explore the perspectives of four groups of stakeholders to proposed improvements to the built environment-a neighbourhood renewal consisting of a home zone development and an extension of the National Cycle Network (NCN). Design Qualitative focus group study. Setting A deprived neighbourhood. Sample Four focus groups were conducted with 10 residents from the neighbourhood undergoing change, nine pupils from a local primary school, 10 students and tutors from a local further education college and three local authority planners overseeing the developments. Results We identified four main themes relating to the impact of environmental change. These were safety, space, antisocial behaviour and physical activity and health, the latter being the least important to all groups. A mismatch regarding environmental change emerged in perspectives between different stakeholders. The residents were most concerned about home and car (parking) safety and in particular felt that the new cycle/walk way would reduce their safety, whereas the planners felt that the environmental change would provide a safer and healthier environment for the residents. Conclusion The assumption that planned provision of supportive environments will improve levels of physical activity, health and lifestyle may not be true if the developments do not take account of community concerns regarding personal safety.