Newcastle Property firm GVA devises tool to identify development needs

The Newcastle office of GVA said the cutting edge toolkit will also help parish councils to work out their neighbourhood needs

This picture was supplied by Banks Property. It is an artist's impression of a proposed housing development in Palmersville.
This picture was supplied by Banks Property. It is an artist's impression of a proposed housing development in Palmersville.

Property consultancy GVA has developed a new cutting edge toolkit for establishing development needs at the parish and neighbourhood level.

The firm, which has a strong presence in the North East, has created NEIGHBOURHOOD, the first model of its kind that it said will assist house builders, developers, landowners, local planning authorities and parish councils to accurately assess the impact of housing on an area in conjunction with wider socio-economic needs.

The neighbourhood framework takes users through several stages, gathering information and evidence on several topics surrounding housing needs, NEIGHBOURHOOD potential future threats, the implications for future sustainability.

The model uses a bespoke forecasting tool that is locally specific, providing the most accurate population and demographic data available.

It has been designed for house builders and developers, who can use it to demonstrate the need for housing in particular locations and the benefit that housing can present to a local population.

It can also be used by residents and communities involved in neighbourhood planning, to identify housing need if they want to achieve certain goals such as maintaining the number of working age people in the town or parish.

Neil Morton, director in GVA’s Newcastle Planning Development and Regeneration team, said: “There is a clear emphasis on planning at the local level.

“Our NEIGHBOURHOOD toolkit will allow communities and homebuilders to better quantify and qualify what housing means in terms of population growth and change and the services that the local population uses.

“NEIGHBOURHOOD is the first comprehensive solution for assessing the housing needs of an area through demographic projections and community vitality.

“We identified a gap in the market for a new approach to planning for housing and the need for more robust evidence at parish and settlement level which is driven by an understanding of what makes local housing markets work, rather than the inflexible, top down approaches that have characterised past approaches to neighbourhood planning.

“These approaches have created mistrust between communities and developers and stifled delivery of much needed new homes.

“We are now working with a range of partners to forge a common understanding of what level and type of housing is required to meet locally defined housing requirements.

“In NEIGHBOURHOOD we believe we’ve developed the most inclusive tool of its kind in the market. We’ve drawn on our leading multi-disciplinary property expertise that is unrivalled in a number of key areas. This means that unlike other approaches, we are able to fuse the best evidence available with locally practical and deliverable advice.”

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