New transport systems central to improving the housing shortage 

New transport systems central to improving the housing shortage 

This month, Prime Minister Theresa May announced some bold changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), indicating that house builders could be made to commit funding to local infrastructure to include new and improved transport systems.  

Theresa May’s speech following a new study that coincided with the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI’s) response to the National Planning Policy Framework consultation, highlighting that developments located in badly chosen sites could have a negative impact on an area’s economic, social and environmental performance.    

Local authorities made accountable by government 

May stated that housing developers would be held accountable by local authorities. The aim being to ensure that contribution reforms for developers and other changes to the NPPF would allow for the “right infrastructure” to be developed to support new housing and residents’ needs. 

In her speech, May said: “When people oppose large-scale development in their area, it’s often because they are concerned that their town or village simply won’t be able to bear the weight of hundreds of new arrivals. They need to know that any new homes will be accompanied by appropriate new facilities and infrastructure. Under our new planning rules, that’s exactly what will happen.”

Planners need a solid policy framework to maximise housing’s accessibility to transport hubs  

The Location of Development study established that between 2015 and 2017, 51% of new housing that was granted planning permission was located more than 2km from railway stations.

Victoria Hills, CEO of RTPI, said: “The NPPF gives us the opportunity to ensure that planners have a sound policy framework which encourages transport orientated development. The funding and delivery of infrastructure should be targeted to maximise potential for sustainable development close to train stations and public transport hubs. Our research on where housing development is actually being permitted shows that current policies do not go far enough to underpin the need to deliver housing in the most sustainable places. We call on the government to tighten up this aspect of the NPPF.”

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