Professor Glen Bramley Reports: Housing in the West of England
In the summer of 2015 Business West and the West of England Initiative commissioned two reports from the respected housing academic, Professor Glen Bramley from Herriot Watt University.
- The first (Planning for Housing in the West of England – the Scale of the Challenge) looks at the broad housing challenges facing the West of England and models the likely economic and demographic impact of different levels of housing delivery
- The second (Wider Bristol Housing Market Area Strategic Housing Assessment 2015: Commentary) examines the weaknesses of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment recently completed for the West of England as part of its assessment of housing market need.
Greater Bristol has high economic growth potential – with some of the highest employment growth projections of any city in England. Many other cities would love to be so favourably placed for growth.
But this economic potential will only be delivered if the West of England is able to plan and deliver the housing that is a critical prerequisite to supporting this growth. Housing is vital for many social and demographic reasons, but is also critical for economic performance.
If the West of England fails to plan with enough ambition, then there will be adverse consequences – with more housing affordability problems, greater housing need pressures and longer commuting journeys. This carries with it the significant risk that economic growth will be choked off.
Both reports raise significant concerns that the West of England is not planning for enough new homes and sets out the possible negative social and economic consequences for the region of failing to deliver.
The report also outlines some of the challenges for delivering the level of market housing that the West of England needs. Learning from current thinking and practice, Professor Bramley suggests that the West of England not only needs to consider giving more housing permissions, but must also look to establish new delivery vehicles to complement existing market delivery. This means an ambitious new way of planning and delivering housing growth, but also the leadership necessary to persuade central government to give the West of England the power and resources it will need to achieve this aim.
You can also download a presentation that Professor Glen Bramley made at a Business West event in November HERE.