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Location of Development: report on the South West of England

21 July 2016

The RTPI has launched the latest report from its ‘Location of Development’ project at the South West Infrastructure Conference on Friday 8 July. Focusing on the South West region, this report maps the location of planning permissions for over 40,000 houses in the city-regions of Bristol, Bournemouth and Plymouth, then analyses their proximity to major employment areas and railway stations. The map below right shows this for Bristol.  

Bristol - Simple Map - Cropped

The report also contains views of planning professionals from the South West, who gathered in June to examine the findings of the research. The group explored the local issues which influenced spatial patterns of housing growth in each area, such as environmental constraints and historic trends, and discussed the various factors which make for a sustainable location.

The group agreed that this research provided a valuable first step in understanding how the location of development changes over time. Repeating this analysis, they said, would help planners and politicians to monitor the impact of Local Plans, and changes to national policy, on the shape of our villages, towns and cities.

Phil Bisatt, Chair of the RTPI South West region, said: “The South West has some of the fastest employment growth outside London, and with that comes a pressing need for housing. By looking across local authority boundaries, this report provides a new and important way of visualising the relationship between housing, employment and transport infrastructure at the city-region scale.”

This regional publication for the South West follows an overarching report which urged that we need to build homes in the right places. This mapped the location of planning permissions for over 165,000 houses across twelve English city-regions.

The research was carried out on behalf of the RTPI by Bilfinger GVA, and provides much-needed evidence on whether new development is occurring in sustainable locations.

The RTPI is currently asking members if planning is heading in the right direction. Tell us your views by 31 July by completing a short survey. 

Read: The Location of Development - Mapping planning permissions for housing in three South West city-regions (full report)

Listen: James Harris discusses the Location of Development project

Listen: Jo Davis, Bilfinger GVA talks about the findings of the project

Listen: Vincent Goodstadt interviewed at the launch of the main report