Swanmoor Stoke New Community

HJA was appointed by Estrans Ltd to prepare an economic statement and a high level analysis for the ratio of jobs to workers for the Swanmoor Stoke New Community development in South Gloucestershire. The development will be a net zero carbon mixed use settlement, providing up to 3,000 new homes, 20 ha of leisure, employment and innovation space and 182 ha of ecologically rich green and blue infrastructure.

The Swanmoor Stoke New Community site is situated nine miles from Bristol and five kilometres from Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area – one of four enterprise areas across the West of England anticipated to support long term sustainable growth in the region. The landowner was looking to put forward the site for allocation in the emerging South Gloucestershire Local Plan. HJA prepared an economic statement in 2020 to support our client’s proposals through the Call for Sites process.

To complete the statement, we used best practice industry approaches to assess economic impact, using the best available information on the development proposals at the time of analysis. Both the construction and ‘operational’ phase of the new development were considered in the assessment. To calculate the direct economic impacts of the construction phase, we used constructions costs to estimate the number of person years of employment generated and a total sum of wages supported from this phase of the development. Modelling the impact of the settlement once fully built and operational involved creating a range of scenarios of potential impacts for jobs and wages – at the time of our analysis, there were various schemes proposed for the new settlement, including for a varying number of primary schools, varied employment densities for retail, business and research space and for a range of residential care home spaces.

Our assessment considered leakage, deadweight, displacement and multiplier effects, as well as a qualitative assessment of wider impacts of residents’ spending in the local economy, additional Council Tax revenue and the expansion of outdoor leisure facilities. This was particularly useful as it gave our client an early understanding of wider impacts of developments which could not yet be quantified. Our assessment provided the developer with an understanding of the potential direct and wider economic impacts of the Swanmoor Stoke New Community.

To support our economic statement, we provided an appendix detailing the economic context of the local area. This analysis considered estimated jobs growth in the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area and its future development potential, based on the local policy framework and planned developments, as well as data on the existing occupation and skills set of the local population. Alongside this, we provided an assessment of commuting flows into Avonmouth Severnside and more generally from South Wales into Bristol and the West of England area. Our economic context analysis helped demonstrate that the area has significant growth potential, highlighting its suitability for further housing and mixed-use settlements.

Estrans Ltd also required an analysis of jobs to workers ratios for the Severnside employment area – the client sought to gauge the commuting implications of potential employment growth in the area (which was approximately 20,000 additional jobs) combined with existing plans for minimal housing growth (absent of development at Swanmoor Stoke). We calculated the jobs to workers ratio post-growth and compared this with the existing ratio to demonstrate the broad orders of magnitude associated with the population and jobs available in Severnside employment area. Our analysis helped evidence the need for the alleviation of commuting through new housing developments in the nearby area.

Overall, the economic statement prepared by HJA has helped inform our client and local policy makers on the potential economic impacts of the proposed Swanmoor Stoke New Community.

Project Lead

Stuart Hardisty