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Housing must be incorporated in the Northern Powerhouse, says AECOM

by Paul Addison on March 2, 2017 No comments

According to AECOM, unless steps are taken to incorporate and fast-track residential development in plans for a Northern Powerhouse, cities and regions in the north of England will be facing a housing crisis.

On top of infrastructure, the planning and infrastructure consultancy have said housing

“must also become a vital element of Northern Powerhouse delivery if the north of England is to successfully achieve economic growth and rebalance the economy”.

AECOM have illuminated that combining housing into the decision-making and planning will help to avoid a potential crisis.

For the Northern Powerhouse to be effective, and to ensure that people will want to live and work in the area, the following will need to be put in place:

  • existing housing stock needs to be improved,
  • communities need to be strengthened,
  • new homes need to be built to accommodate planned growth. 

The company mustn’t oversee housing when making decisions about the allocation of funds associated with the Northern Powerhouse, added the Local authorities.

Richard Green, director and business unit lead for the North of England, AECOM, had the following to say:

“Discussions around the UK’s housing crisis focus on the South-East, where there is the greatest need for new homes, but it is just as important that housing also moves forward in the North to help fuel the Northern Powerhouse. Balanced UK economic growth can only be achieved if cities and regions in the North can successfully create well-connected communities close to transport links in areas where people want to live.”

AECOM have said that places that have been reserved for industrial and infrastructure investments, for example areas such as Cumbria, will need to plan how they will be delivering suitable housing and other vital social infrastructure.

As regions develop, diverse communities that will emerge and housing should mirror this.

The company have advised that the attention of the Northern Powerhouse should not only be on connectivity initiatives, but additionally, on developing long-term strategic growth plans that will be maximizing the potential for housing along route corridors through:

  • brownfield regeneration,
  • garden towns,
  • green belt reviews.

Green concluded:

“Housing is key to economic growth. Its vital role must not be forgotten as Northern Powerhouse momentum turns to delivery and funds to accelerate growth are allocated.”

On the 21st and 22nd of February the UK Northern Powerhouse conference took place.

With the aim of accelerating growth in the Northern Powerhouse, Scape Group, a built environment organization, have called for greater public-private partnership

At the UK Northern Powerhouse conference, Scape framework partners Perfect Circle, a joint venture between Pick Everard, Gleeds and AECOM, directed a debate on public-private partnership in a means to quicken the growth in the Northern Powerhouse.

The chief executive at Scape, Mark Robinson, has asked for the government and local authorities to develop an approach that will ensure the North maximizes public-private collaboration in policy-making and delivery, with the aim of helping to unlock the North’s potential.

The managing director at Scape Procure, Victoria Brambini, had the following to say:

“Collaboration between the construction industry and the public sector is already creating efficiencies for the public purse and socioeconomic value for local authorities. We need to remind the government that their commitment and support is needed to help us create the public infrastructure the North needs to prosper and accelerate growth.”

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Paul AddisonHousing must be incorporated in the Northern Powerhouse, says AECOM

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