The Application of Accessibility Planning to Develop a Locational Policy for the West Midlands
J Baker, N Hurst, Mott MacDonald, UK; R Bravery, Wolverhampton City Council, UK
The paper explains the use of Accessibility Planning principles and tools to develop a Locational Policy which identifies the suitability of sites for development on the basis of sustainable access to services in an area of urban deprivation.
The project was commissioned by the Accessibility Planning Working Group of the West Midlands Metropolitan Authorities in order to inform the process of formulation of Core Strategies for the West Midlands in the United Kingdom and in response to a new Regional Spatial Strategy. The former document requires a clear statements of commitment regarding the allocation of housing land in order to achieve commitment to a level of house-building required by the latter. The latest revision to the Regional Spatial Strategy would require substantial house-building in response to central Government concerns about changing population and as such places significant pressures on local authorities to identify development sites.
The objective of the study was to make use of Accessibility Planning principles and tools to develop a Locational Policy which identifies the suitability of sites for development on the basis of sustainable access to essential services such as health, education, employment etc.
The paper will describe the mechanisms used to develop a composite indicator of accessibility which was considered to provide a realistic basis for the development of a Locational Policy based on access to these key land-uses. Specifically, the Accession tool developed on behalf of the Department for Transport was used alongside PTAMS which is a bespoke tool developed specifically for the West Midlands. The work was complemented by post-analysis using GIS. The comparative merits of alternative approaches will be addressed.
The paper will explain the theoretical basis for the analysis and the minimum level of data required in order to replicate such an approach in other European countries. (It is planned that some comparable work will have been undertaken in the Czech Republic to demonstrate the transferability of the approach but this work has not yet commenced and as such the outcome cannot be confirmed: if successful, this will be reported at ETC). It will also provide contextual background on the Black Country and some of the issues relating to the need to carefully allocate land in a deprived part of a wider region in order to stimulate an urban renaissance whilst deterring the use of potential employment land for residential purposes.
The study successfully developed the analytical basis for a Locational Policy along with draft wording for such a policy. The approach developed in this study has been adopted as the basis for policy defined in the Black Country Core Strategy Publication Document which was recently published for consultation.
Association for European Transport