GVA launches residential forecasting tool

Property consultancy GVA Grimley and researcher Edge Analytics have developed a new model called Phase, standing for Population, Housing and Strategic Evidence, to assist local authorities, Registered Social Landlords and developers in planning for local housing requirements.

The pair said the tool will help fill the gap left by the end of Regional Spatial Strategies.

Richard Laming, director of GVA Grimley, said: "In the current climate it is critical that public and private sector partners have confidence in the evidence being used to plan for and to support the development of new homes. Housing need, affordability pressures and a historic undersupply of homes are not issues that have disappeared just because of the change of government or the abolition of Regional Strategy. In fact, in the face of continued economic uncertainty and the state of the mortgage market, they are likely to have become even more pressing issues at a local level.

"We spotted a gap in the market for a new approach to planning for housing which is driven by an understanding of what makes local housing markets work, rather than the outdated, inflexible, top down approaches that have characterised the last 10 years. These approaches have created mistrust between partners 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."

Phase uses population and demographic data that is not limited by administrative boundaries to produce bespoke population forecasts.

The model is compliant with the department for communities and local government best practice guidance on strategic housing market assessments. GVA said it will also help to defend Local Development Frameworks effectively at examination and support planning appeals.

Laming said: "For local authorities contemplating retaining their RSS housing numbers, Phase offers a useful check on the defensibility of this position. For those examining alternative options, Phase provides a locally specific evidence base that will be invaluable. For developers and RSLs it offers an unprecedented level of local intelligence to support the delivery of new homes.

"In Phase we believe we've developed the most inclusive tool of its kind in the market. We've drawn on the demographic forecasting expertise of our partners Edge

Analytics and combined it with 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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