HJA was commissioned by Llanarth Estate to undertake an economic impact assessment of the Cwm Pentref new community to accompany a submission to the second call for candidate sites to the Monmouthshire Replacement Local Development Plan.
The proposed settlement included 4,500 new dwellings, two new primary schools, primary healthcare facilities, a care home, 21,500 sq m of new employment space, retail, hospitality and leisure facilities, an eco-tourism campsite and a transport hub. The vision for the new settlement focused on supporting the rural economy and providing a mix of housing and complementary uses, helping to reverse recent demographic trends.
The economic impact assessment addressed socio-economic ambitions and challenges within Monmouthshire, the socio-economic context of the area and modelled the economic impact of Cwm Pentref to the local area.
The socio-economic ambitions and challenges of Monmouthshire were addressed through a study of key issues emerging from relevant socio-economic policy, strategy and research. This research focussed around key issues in the housing market and economy. HJA identified a severe lack of affordable housing, particularly for key workers, a shortage in the stock of suitable smaller properties, and demographic trends as contributing factors towards a lack of economic growth and pressures on the housing market.
HJA analysed economic and housing market data to assess the challenges the local economy and residential property market faced, to further demonstrate the positive economic impacts Cwm Pentref would bring about. HJA found significant affordability issues in the housing market, with median house prices higher in the local area than many other parts of Monmouthshire. This was found to be partly driven by the size profile of exiting housing stock, with the share of houses being larger properties and a low diversity of stock in terms of size, typology and tenure. An ageing population and significant degree of out-commuting for work were also found to be significant growth constraints.
An assessment of the construction and operational phase demonstrated Cwm Pentref New Settlement would deliver a positive economic impact to Monmouthshire and address many of the issues outlined in the policy review and data analysis. HJA found the project would provide a significant boost to the local economy and support the wider regeneration of the rural economy in Monmouthshire, supporting the development of new enterprise.