Join-up local transport and planning to maximise the benefits of investment in new housing

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The opportunity to maximise the economic and social benefits of public and private investment in new housing are being missed due to a disconnect between sustainable transport and the location of new developments, according to a new report for the Transport Knowledge Hub, published today.

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The independent report, written by KPMG, identifies an eight-point plan to help overcome the barriers to integrating sustainable transport with new housing.

The plan has been developed off the back of research and insight following in-depth consultation with stakeholders across the sector. The plan could help communities across the country reap the social and economic benefits of new housing.

Integrating the Planning and Delivery of Sustainable Transport with New Housing Development: Eight-point plan “call to action”:

  1. Current capital and revenue funding for local transport and complementary policy areas consolidated into a longer-term, devolved budget to local authorities to enable them to plan and invest on a more strategic basis
  2. Local authorities capture a greater share of the increased land value resulting from changes in the use of land and public investment in high-quality sustainable transport in order to help raise levels of investment in sustainable transport
  3. Local authorities are provided with the resources to fund the capacity and capability that are necessary to plan strategically
  4. Forthcoming National Planning Policy Guidance to clarify expectations for sustainable transport with new development and provide local authorities with the necessary backing to put policy into practice
  5. Local areas develop spatial plans that integrate planning for transport, housing and employment land, and where appropriate over a single economic geography
  6. The potential benefits of integrated sustainable transport and housing development are considered at the earliest stages of the plan-making process and appraised holistically in terms of their economic, social and environmental impacts when determining value for money
  7. Sustainable transport provision is designed-in from the outset in order to support the introduction of public transport services
  8. Local authorities and transport providers work collaboratively to deliver innovative and cost-effective sustainable transport solutions for new housing

Findings show that longer-term devolved funding to local areas for transport and growth-focused investment is key to enabling local authorities to plan and invest on a more strategic basis. The report also identifies the need for local areas to capture a greater share of the increased land value resulting from new housing and public investment in high-quality sustainable transport.

In return, the report says that local areas should offer governance and robust decision making that prioritises investment against economic and social objectives, as well as offer integrated spatial plans that cover transport, housing and employment land. This would help develop a clear local vision for sustainable growth and guide investment towards interventions that most effectively help to deliver that vision.

These spatial plans would help to locate new development alongside existing and new sustainable transport infrastructure and services, support higher density development at these sites, and promote policies that design-in sustainable transport provision from the start.

Speaking ahead of the report’s launch, Hilary Chipping, Chair of the Transport Knowledge Hub, said:

“Britain is in a housing crisis, and it is fundamentally important that new housing is delivered in a timely manner across the country. Sustainable transport and supporting infrastructure must be integrated during the local planning process so that the full economic benefits of new housing are achieved. This report is a timely intervention which has highlighted a number of challenges that are currently constraining local decision-makers ability to plan for new homes in a sustainable manner.”

About the Author

This post was written by Claire Haigh. Claire is Chief Executive of Greener Journeys

Claire Haigh

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The Transport Knowledge Hub is a fantastic resource and I’m really excited about the opportunity to explore how we can maximise its use among transport stakeholders. In the South East Midlands, investing in local transport infrastructure has unlocked significant economic growth. The Hub offers a formal framework for sharing expertise with decision makers around the UK, as well as learning from the experience of others. This will enable more investment to be directed towards  local and sustainable forms of transport.

Hilary Chipping, Deputy CEO, SEMLEP

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