Roger Tym & Partners Report

Roger Tym & Partners report

Roger Tym & Partners is one of the UK’s leading firms of development economists who have modelled the future of Stratford on Avon housing provision based on current population demographics and trends. Below is the Executive Summary of the report, published in November 2010. A full copy of the Roger Tym & Partners report can be downloaded here.

Based on the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) projections, the report calculates the housing requirement for Stratford upon Avon District for the period 2006-2026 as some 15,000 new dwellings. This is almost three times the numbers currently being contemplated by the District Council.

But even with these 15,000 houses the working age population of Stratford District would only grow by 2,700 people or 4% of today’s workforce. The report highlights a real risk that constraining housing growth may also constrain the local economy.

The report warns that if the Core Strategy sets household provision too low, the resident labour force will provide little or no capacity for employment growth in the District. More importantly, there may not be sufficient employees to support the present level of economic activity in Stratford. Businesses that are already established in the District may increasingly find it difficult to secure or retain labour.

If only a small amount of the employment land proposed in the Core Strategy is taken up by firms moving into Stratford, existing local businesses will experience a growing labour shortage. This has implications across the economy, including the leisure and tourism sector and local services needed to support the Stratford economy. To gauge the size of such impacts would need more detailed analysis but the big picture is clear.

Some of the resulting gap between labour demand and labour supply could potentially be filled by changes in travel to work patterns, but this would promote in-commuting. [Such changes in the balance may have implications for transport infrastructure, carbon emissions and neighbouring economies.]

There is a clear policy desire to build on Stratford’s successful local economy. However the report highlights a fundamental mismatch between the emerging proposals for housing growth and the plans for employment growth.

The report tests a reduced dwelling target of 7,500 new homes approximately half of the projected requirement. In doing so the study makes optimistic assumptions about the profile of new residents (reflecting a younger inward migration profile than the past) but still suggests that if the Core Strategy confirms an interim figure of this order, or below, the resident labour force will provide very little or no capacity for employment growth in the District. Their conclusions are that the resident labour force (people of working age) is too low to deliver the economic growth necessary to sustain the area.

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