A new study of housing location around Blackburn and Warrington by the RTPI has found that about half of planning permissions granted between 2012 and 2015 were located outside the existing built-up area.
Around Warrington, the study also found that 64% of housing permissions were within 10km of a major employment centre, defined as an area with over 10,000 jobs. In Blackburn the majority of permissions (59%) were 10 to 20km away.
In terms of transport, 29% of housing permissions around Blackburn were within easy walking or cycling distance of a railway station, compared to 21% around Warrington.
The study maps the location of planning permissions granted for 118 major housing schemes (with 50 units or more) in local authorities surrounding the towns of Blackburn and Warrington, between 2012 and 2015.
James Harris, RTPI Policy Manager, said:
“Our maps and figures provide greater understanding of where housing permissions are being granted in towns and villages across the North West.
“While the Combined Authorities of Manchester and Liverpool are increasingly able to monitor and influence patterns of growth at the city-region scale, it’s also important to understand the spatial relationship between housing, jobs and infrastructure in areas without the same strategic planning powers.”
The study also contains notes from a roundtable discussion with planning experts from the North West, who considered the factors that were shaping these patterns of development in each city-region, and the impact these could have in the future.
This study follows a national report “Location of Development” which mapped planning permissions for over 165,000 houses across twelve English city-regions. It found that almost 75% were close to major employment opportunities, while 13% were within easy walking distance of a railway station.
The research was carried out on behalf of the RTPI by GVA.
Read: Location of Development - Mapping planning permissions for housing in two North West city-regions (full report)
Read RTPI’s new policy statement on Where should we build new homes
Listen: James Harris discusses the Location of Development project