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  • Campaign for New Homes: October 10, 2018
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Author Topic: Planning Incentives 'lead to housing estates centered on car use'  (Read 1107 times)
grahame
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« on: August 27, 2018, 10:11:52 am »

From http://www.transportfornewhomes.org.uk:

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Transport for New Homes has visited over 20 housing developments to see what we are building in terms of transport and ensuing lifestyles. Having published our report we are now launching the Transport for New Homes Association to stimulate discussion and find practical ways for planning and transport to better work together.

Quote
Events

How can we build healthy, liveable communities where residents can walk, cycle and use public transport to go about their daily lives? At these free events we launch our report summarising our visits to more than 20 large new areas of housing and invite cross-disciplinary discussion.

Oxford launch event
Wed 10 October 2018, 11am – 4pm
Oxford Quaker Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LW

London launch event
Wed 24 October 2018, 3pm – 6pm
The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL
Sustainable development or mini-America? Counter-urbanisation and its consequences for transport, health and environment.

Campaign for Better Transport behind this .... and one or two familiar names  Grin .   

I think I see an absurdity in building houses in streets so packed that a bus cannot get through ... and in too often waiting to provide public transport in new build areas until most of the housing units are occupied ... by people who have multiple cars or who have gone out and bought another car so they can practically live there.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 12:20:07 am »

The absurdity is the unspoken conflict between policies encouraging sustainable transport links as an essential element of planning and green belts around some (but by no means all) major cities and conurbations.

A paradigm example is Oxford and the expansion of Witney over the last 4 decades to help meet its housing demand. Witney sits comfortably the other side of Oxford's green belt, but lost its railway in the early 1960. The result - long queues of traffic every morning on the A40 into Oxford.

Planning policy is torn between the need for more housing and the objections of those who live near sites designated for it. This is the reason why large new settlements end up away from existing public transport (especially rail links). They may be packaged as "ecotowns" or "garden villages", but the reality is that they are a convenient political fix taking housebuilding away from the prosperous outer suburbs where opposition tends to be fiercest.

However, the expansion of existing towns already on the railway system can be a win/win. From what I have read, it looks like a substantial part of the success in building rail services around Melksham has been the expansion of the town generating demand. And for all my comments about the shabbiness of Didcot Broadway, the town is gradually be transformed by growth, which has brought a better range of shopping to the town centre and a multiplex cinema. All this in a town that is generally dismissed as a railway junction - actually a good "sustainable" location!

Most developments of any size now contribute toward public transport, usually by financial payment, but if the development is large enough by imposing obligations to provide road-based public transport infrastructure. Bus lanes tend to be the result of such development, rather than inadequate space for buses. The missing element in "building the homes we need in the places we need them" is both public and political support (which feed off one another) for taking account of existing transport infrastructure and using development to support it's sustainability as has happened more by accident than design at Melksham and Didcot. 

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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 01:07:39 am »

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Sustainable development or mini-America? Counter-urbanisation and its consequences for transport, health and environment Oxford • 10 October 2018

Chair • Professor Graham Parkhurst, UWE

How can we build healthy, liveable communities where residents can walk, cycle and use public transport to go about their daily lives?

Six speakers I'll be very interested to hear what they have to say ... and one who I know very well indeed, but will have something new to say in his changing role.

http://www.passenger.chat/oxford-programme-public.pdf
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 05:38:43 am »

From what I have read, it looks like a substantial part of the success in building rail services around Melksham has been the expansion of the town generating demand.

Good. You 'got' that story - but only a small proportion of the new traffic is from new housing.  However, the new housing was a significant trigger in enabling us to get the service level case re-opened when substantially the same team who had decided that two trains a day was appropriate for 2006 was still very much around.

Until the last year, town expansion at Melksham has been to the east and south and the station is to the north west.  The new George Ward Gardens is to north west (where public transport - train and bus is walkable easily) but there's a lot more coming to the south east ... around 800 homes with planning permission and I expect ground breaking any time.
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 08:44:16 pm »

Quote
Sustainable development or mini-America? Counter-urbanisation and its consequences for transport, health and environment Oxford • 10 October 2018

Chair • Professor Graham Parkhurst, UWE

How can we build healthy, liveable communities where residents can walk, cycle and use public transport to go about their daily lives?

Six speakers I'll be very interested to hear what they have to say ... and one who I know very well indeed, but will have something new to say in his changing role.

http://www.passenger.chat/oxford-programme-public.pdf

I have been in touch today with one of the speakers, Professor Tom Holbrook from 5th Studio, for his thoughts ahead of tomorrow's presentation, and he has this message for forum members:

Quote from: Professor Tom Holbrook
Thanks very much for your email, and enthusiasm!

I think the best preview of my presentation is to direct you to the PDF of our report for the National Infrastructure Commission which is available on their website here:

https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/future-development-concepts/

I look forward to meeting you and your members who can make it tomorrow!
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 07:33:48 am »

I have been in touch today with one of the speakers, Professor Tom Holbrook from 5th Studio, for his thoughts ahead of tomorrow's presentation, and he has this message for forum members:

I will look him up.   Actually you have been in touch with at least two of the speakers - my slides are hereGrin
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Lee
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 07:59:48 am »

Indeed - I figured you were more than capable of giving your own message to forum members  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2018, 09:13:03 am »

I have been in touch today with one of the speakers, Professor Tom Holbrook from 5th Studio, for his thoughts ahead of tomorrow's presentation, and he has this message for forum members:

I will look him up.   Actually you have been in touch with at least two of the speakers - my slides are hereGrin

Noticed a different domain name for the Coffee shop on the last slide. Where did that come from?
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 09:28:32 am »

I have been in touch today with one of the speakers, Professor Tom Holbrook from 5th Studio, for his thoughts ahead of tomorrow's presentation, and he has this message for forum members:

I will look him up.   Actually you have been in touch with at least two of the speakers - my slides are hereGrin

Noticed a different domain name for the Coffee shop on the last slide. Where did that come from?

Multiple domain names are parked / work to this place.   We need to be moving away from "firstgreatwestern" as we are current and that name is now historic.   
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 07:36:18 am »

A very interesting day indeed - but what a depressing outcome / story of a planning system which in many ways is outdated and unfit for purpose.  The day was clearly for experts by experts (I was very much the amateur in the talkers!) and with a bias towards planning for access by modes other than the car - but even for the car driver, there are some depressing design asides such as the dumping of housing where it's convenient to the house builder rather than where it works for clean air, efficient journeys and lack of congestion as people go to neighbouring areas.    Horror stories in our region like the bus service in Newton Abbott that went through the new housing but no bus stops were provided so it didn't call, and from Trowbridge where green field sites are chosen with poor public transport and people walking have to walk on the verge of the arterial road that bisects the estate.

http://www.transportfornewhomes.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/transport-for-new-homes-summary-web.pdf

• Theme 1 Car-based living
• Theme 2 Homes not properly connected for pedestrians, cyclists or buses
• Theme 3 Public transport opportunities missed
• Theme 4 The importance of mixed land use and integrated transport
• Theme 5 The advantages of the new urban quarter
• Theme 6 Insights from the Netherlands

But ... I'm not sure where the report goes from here / what can be done about the issues it highlights.

Co-incidentally, I came back to Melksham to take part in a Neighbourhood plan meeting - looking at the plan which has to go both to a central government inspector to ensure it's valid, and to a local vote to ensure that it's what people want.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how to inform the people who can take part in the local vote on a pretty technical issue ... memories of how the Brexit issue was presented (or not) prior to the referendum and a desire to fully inform and discuss any issues with potential voters prior to the vote in this case so that decisions are made based on facts.   The plan may not effect the 1000 new homes already approved in Melksham, but it could certainly effect the 2,400 that look likely in the 2026 - 2036 allocation; we can't realistically stop new housing (and I don't think we would want to - personally anyway) but we can look to get it in the right place and with the right access and facilities.   That will work for the community, for the wider councils and policies, and for the developers who should end up with more desirable homes for people to buy.
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 09:13:37 pm »

Quote
But ... I'm not sure where the report goes from here / what can be done about the issues it highlights.

There are parallels with rail transport:
  • The system is fundamentally broken and most of the time all we can do is tinker around the edges and make the best of a bad job;
  • People don't engage sufficiently with the strategic stuff when important decisions are made - same with this forum, where "8:15 late again" will receive more views and comments than "what do you want in 2026?"
  • Goods in short supply, so easy to fill trains/houses without bothering too much about quality.
  • Lots of vested interests.
  • Fixed mindsets.
  • Problems are, genuinely, difficult to solve, requiring long-term commitment.

Can things be improved? Is it better to concentrate on one of the above issues, or attack all of them? I don't know the answer, but with Local Plans being updated in various authorities there should be as good an opportunity as there is likely to be to expose misconceptions and irrational approaches to housing location and its relationship with transport.
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 03:58:19 am »


  • People don't engage sufficiently with the strategic stuff when important decisions are made - same with this forum, where "8:15 late again" will receive more views and comments than "what do you want in 2026?"

Can things be improved?

There is a whole separate thread to be had on this one ... at least we get some views and comments here.  I really dispair when I see the papers headlining "Duchess closes car door" over and above just about everything else.
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 03:25:00 pm »

Just to round things off, I have this from another of the speakers, Dr Nicholas Falk of the URBED Trust:

Quote from: Dr Nicholas Falk
I am sorry that I did not get your email until it was too late to send you a preview. However I am delighted to attach a pdf of my presentation.

I concluded by running briefly through our proposals for what I call the Oxford Metro, which is designed to provide the spines for new housing development around Oxford that would accommodate potential demand without adding to congestion.

The proposals will be covered in a forthcoming report from the Oxford Civic Society and Oxfordshire Futures Group, and I do encourage you to take a look at their web site and use anything you find of interest - https://www.oxcivicsoc.org.uk/ and https://www.oxfordfutures.org.uk/
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 05:30:14 pm »

There is an interesting article in The Guardian today:
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/24/housing-developments-planning-incentives-cars-new-homes-transport-report
Quote
Planning incentives are encouraging housing developments that push residents towards “car-based living” by failing to include public transport or pedestrian infrastructure, a report has claimed.
Poor regulations allow developers to buy up cheap, almost rural locations for new housing stock, which councils are required to assess for “deliverability” while meeting national housebuilding targets and before making transport assessments, according to the report by the campaign group Transport for New Homes (TNH).
“Building new homes in fields so remote from good public transport networks, major employment hubs and services, means that sustainable transport options are perceived as limited from the start and too difficult,” the report said.

Local authorities have also apparently specifically zoned housing next to roads they wanted to finance, such as the Castle Mead urban extension in Wiltshire, which is bisected by a new bypass giving lorries and other traffic access to the nearby town of Trowbridge.
In one example of the incentives, a mile-and-a-half stretch of road linking a new estate, also near Trowbridge, was being funded with £14.25m of public money.
According to the research, £8.75m from the government’s local development fund and £5.5m from the infrastructure marginal viability fund are helping pay for improvements to the A350, leading to the town’s Ashton Park development of 2,700 homes.
This will be topped up by the developer contributing £11.5m, a total of £25.75m for the new single carriageway and new roundabouts to provide access to the homes.
The A350 extension is one of example of how the unintended consequences of government housing targets and programmes are encouraging developments reliant on motor transport, with access and parking for cars trumping green space and footpaths, according to TNH.

Researchers visited 20 housing developments around the country, and some in the Netherlands, trying out public transport, cycling and walking routes, taking photos, talking to residents and local businesses, and charting congestion.
They found “residential streets … practically devoid of greenery [while] the sheer amount of area given over to road access, driveways and parking was astonishing” – up to 40% in some places. “Areas of affordable homes seemed particularly badly hit,” the report said.
It warned of a turn towards the car-focused infrastructure of American suburbia, with some estates linked by roads without pavements, and said public transport opportunities had been missed, there was a lack of infrastructure for walkers, and many estates “rising up from the countryside” were not properly integrated into the towns to which they were attached.
TNH is funded by the Foundation for Integrated Transport and the RAC Foundation.

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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 05:36:10 pm »

The report being reported is already the subject of this thread - thought the thread title is wrong, it should be Transport for New Homes. There was a similar piece in this morning's Times, too - why the interest only now?
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