There is widespread consensus that as a country we need to build significantly more homes if we are going to address the national housing crisis; to the tune of some 300,000 per year. At the same time, the role of sustainable transport in unlocking the economic and social benefits of new housing, as well as acting as an enabler of economic growth in its own right, has become increasingly well evidenced. Indeed in May this year the Transport Knowledge Hub published independent analysis on the issue which was undertaken by KPMG for Greener Journeys.
Delivering such a step-change in new homes means exploiting opportunities for higher-density housing in locations that are, or could be, well served by high-capacity sustainable transport – such as rail and bus – along with high quality public realm and walk and cycle links which create attractive and liveable communities.
Recent policy developments have brought the importance of integrating the planning and delivery of transport and housing investment into sharper focus. This includes MHCLG's updated National Planning Policy Framework (July 2018); DfT's updated appraisal guidance (May 2018); and the National Infrastructure Assessment published by the National Infrastructure Commission (July 2018).
However, whilst the benefits of integrating sustainable transport and housing are well rehearsed, all too often the planning and delivery of the two operate in silos.
A variety of recent reports, including Transport for New Homes (Foundation for Integrated Transport, 2018) and Location of Development (RTPI, 2018), highlight a typical lack of sustainable transport integrated into new housing developments.
Failure to integrate is a missed opportunity to help deliver the scale of new homes our country needs, and to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of both private and public investment in sustainable transport and new housing.
Therefore a crucial issue to understand in the policy debate is why the two are not as integrated as they could and should be. What are the key barriers to the joint planning and delivery of sustainable transport and new housing? And what are the solutions that would enable these barriers to be overcome?
These are the key questions that KPMG's new research for the Transport Knowledge Hub is seeking to address.
Our work is looking to identify how sustainable transport solutions can be better integrated with new housing developments, and the respective roles of local authorities, central government and industry in taking forward those solutions.
As part of our research, we are consulting key stakeholders across local and central government, the development and planning sectors, and those responsible for infrastructure delivery and operation in order to explore the key barriers and opportunities across the six key themes of:
• Funding and finance;
• Decision-making and governance;
• Appraisal and valuation;
• Planning policy and practice;
• Development and land markets; and
• Transport operation and regulation.
I will be presenting some of the key issues emerging from our research at the next series of Transport Knowledge Hub events taking place in November and December 2018. The events will bring together local and central government, housing experts, transport providers and other key decision-makers to discuss the importance of transport connectivity in helping to address the housing crisis. To book your place and have your say on these important issues, visit the events website here.
The final findings and recommendations from our research will be brought together in a final report that will be published by the Transport Knowledge Hub in early 2019.