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Economic Development

Our economic development team use their understanding of the wider urban infrastructure and market leading technology to provide a robust case for a planning or development initiative

Our evidence can help support your planning application, securing its success

Our Economic Development Services

Socio-economic Assessments

By understanding the wider value of a development, our socio-economic assessments can add extra gravitas to your planning application. Forming a central part of your planning application, we undertake socio economic statements that project the impact of a development on the human population of an area. Our dedicated team conduct in-depth research / applications, producing all relevant reports to accompany your planning proposal, as well as consulting with relevant stakeholders to gather socioeconomic data.

Health Impact Assessments

Any development has a health impact on the wider community, we will undertake significant research into how the lives of the community will be improved for the better. A health impact statement projects the change in health, behavioural, or environmental outcome in a defined population as a result of a development proposal.

Our expert team can conduct in-depth research, produce all relevant reports to accompany planning proposals / applications and provide a detailed report on the impact of health and environment to accompany a planning proposal or application.

Economic Benefits Assessments

Economic impact statements can help demonstrate the impact a development will have on the economic output of an area, including employment prospects, effects on other employers already in the areas and the impact of visitors as a result of that development.

Our economic development experts will work closely with you to conduct in-depth research and prepare thorough economic reports and assessments about the commercial value of a development for presenting to stakeholders and accompany planning applications and proposals

Retail Capacity & Impact Assessments

Targeting retail development to existing economic centres and assessing the impacts of retail development has been a long-standing government policy requirement. Our experts will work closely with you to carry out a comprehensive research study, including detailed household surveys to gather up to date expenditure predictions, to support applications/proposals over 2500 sq. metres and helping to maximise the case for development and minimise the impact elsewhere.

When applying for retail units, our teams can provide detailed forecasts on capacity and the likely impact to the wider urban infrastructure. We can also help developers and local authorities plan and target development in existing retail centres which is a planning policy requirement.

Housing Need

Councils are required by law to have a five year housing supply. If this does not exist it opens up land outside of development boundaries for housing. As experts in land supply and development, our economic development team can showcase the housing need of an area and what the five year land supply will look like to support your planning application. We can help secure planning success by assessing suitable sites outside of the development boundaries and also assess whether councils do indeed have a five year supply to comply with the law.

Our economic development team have experience of working with individual local authorities, planning teams and authority consortiums and can help you by assisting developers and councils stay abreast of the formulas used to assess housing need. Reports can be delivered assessing housing need at local and regional levels to support feasibility studies and development plans.

Demographic Intelligence

Our goal is to help our clients increase understanding of residential, commercial and retail markets. We do this by undertaking thorough market studies, economic reviews and assessments of labour demand and supply.

We work closely with you to decide the best strategy to gather the intelligence needed, capture insightful and detailed demographic information about an area, formulate and undertake research questionnaires, surveys, focus groups as well as produce reports in the necessary formats to sit alongside and inform your planning applications.

GIS & Spatial Analytics

Visualise your plans with GIS & Spatial Analytics, our Geospatial analysis and spatial analytics allows us to extract precise geographical location information from particular areas to navigate potential risks and areas of interest.

Our team of experts will can help you make better predictions about human behaviour, spatial analysis can be used in all sorts of scenarios – we can help you identify when and where it is needed to best effect.

Implications to Government Standard Method Housing Need of latest affordability data - 2023

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released their ‘Housing affordability in England and Wales: 2022’ data in late March 2023, a range of data including new median affordability ratios. The median affordability ratios are used to calculate the minimum level of housing need using the National Planning Policy Framework’s (NPPF) ‘Standard Method’. The result is the minimum level of housing need which local authorities should be considering in preparing their Local Plans.

In this context the map below provides the Standard Method’s minimum housing need for each of the local authorities in England. The current Standard Method calculation is listed (based on the latest 2022 median ratios), and the previous calculation (based on 2021 median ratios) is included to illustrate the change over the 12 month period.

The Standard Method calculation has gone down for the majority of local authorities, with 227 of the 308 local authorities (74%) experiencing a decline in their median affordability ratio in the most recent 12-month period.

The latest 2022-based median ratios are important, however it should be remembered that they are a rather crude measure of wider affordability as they don’t factor in reduced spending power resulting from inflationary pressure on the costs of goods and services, and increased mortgage interest rate payments.

Although analysis of the change in median affordability ratios over the past 12 months is valuable for the purposes of calculating minimum housing need, it doesn’t provide the full picture in terms of how affordability has changed over the period since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this in mind the change between 2019 (pre-COVID) and 2022 (post-COVID) is a more representative picture of the long-term trend in housing affordability across the country. With this in mind Marrons socio-economic team have analysed the change in median earnings and median house prices from 2019-2022.

In short, this analysis shows that the increases in median earnings have failed to keep up with the increases in median house prices over the past 3 years in most areas. Across England the median house price has increased by 14% compared with median earnings increasing by only 8%. Across England only 78 (25%) of the 308 LPAs have experienced a change in median earnings which has exceeded the change in median house prices.

Furthermore the change in median house price has been approximately double that of earnings in 4 regions (East, East Midlands, South East, and South West). All except the North East show change in median house prices higher than median earnings.

The affordability of housing may have improved in the short term according to the change in median ratios between 2021 and 2022, but Marrons analysis over the longer-term shows there has been a noticeable worsening of the position since pre-COVID times.

Our Economic Development Team

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