Calibro submits Analysis of Transport-Related Sustainability of the West of England Joint Spatial Plan

Calibro has recently submitted its assessment of the transport-related sustainability of the West of England Joint Spatial Plan to the appointed Inspectors (Mr Malcolm Rivett BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI and Mr Steven Lee BA (Hons) MA MRTPI) to assist in their efforts to determine the soundness of the Plan and its spatial strategy.

Our work, undertaken on behalf of Harrow Estates Plc and working closely with the Bristol office of Boyer, included the creation of a regional accessibility model incorporating all Strategic Development Locations (SDLs) in addition to a number of omission sites, as well as incorporating all planned infrastructure provision including changes to bus services and rail provision.

The model also reflects the anticipated spatial distribution of job growth over the plan period and is underpinned by over 43M independent calculations that allows the relative performance of each SDL to be measured in tangible terms as it relates to the three strands of sustainability; social, economic and environmental.

Figure 1 – Extent of Modelled Area

Whilst the modelling efforts have been extensive, the results are easily understood; the JSP has failed to properly consider all reasonable alternatives resulting in an unsustainable spatial distribution of development. Moreover, the assessment identifies that the relative performance of each SDL is highly influenced by the individual locations where development will ultimately be delivered, and thus the Plan’s failure to allocate specific sites further jeopardises its potential to deliver sustainable development under the terms of the NPPF.

In these ways, the JSP is thus considered to be unsound in its current form and significant modifications to the Spatial Strategy are required, as a minimum.

Figure 2 – CO2 Emissions vs Accessible Jobs

Speaking of our work, Stuart Choak (Managing Director) said:

“I am really very proud to see that Calibro’s unique and market-leading methodology is being recognised by key players such as Harrow Estates Plc and Dorchester Residential Management Limited (in connection with our on-going promotion of a strategic urban extension to Oxford).

The fact that such significant clients understand the power of our modelling techniques validates the investment we have made over the recent years to identify data-driven performance indicators that address the absence of a clear definition of sustainability within policy. This allows our clients to present a uniquely comprehensive picture of the in-combination sustainability merits of a site and of the wider plan.

Our unique understanding and the fact that Government policy is underpinned by the principals of sustainability puts at leading edge of land promotion in the UK.”

Figure 4 – Relative Performance of each SDL / Ommission Site