Watford Infrastructure Delivery Plan
SYSTRA has been commissioned by Watford Borough Council to assist with the production of a new Infrastructure Delivery Plan, intended to align with the council’s emerging Local Plan, which targets development and growth assumptions until 2036. Both documents were issued for consultation in January 2021. The key challenge for the council is to provide substantial housing and employment growth which will result in increased pressure on local infrastructure, services and facilities, with the highway network already extremely congested. It is therefore crucial that new infrastructure is provided to support the delivery of new homes and jobs, encourage the uptake of active travel modes and create sustainable and stable communities.
The Infrastructure Delivery Plan assesses the infrastructure needs which are expected to be associated with the delivery of allocated sites and development within the Local Plan, and the potential risks of this infrastructure not being delivered in a timely manner to support development. As infrastructure and services are provided by different organisations and delivery partners, the challenge is to co-ordinate investment and infrastructure programmes.
SYSTRA firstly identified a range of schemes considered as necessary to support the growth in movement associated with new development at sites identified within the emerging Local Plan, which included over 7,600 dwellings.
SYSTRA adopted a sustainability angle towards potential infrastructure schemes, prioritising walking and cycling, followed by public transport and then vehicular modes, in line with transport hierarchy outlined in policy aims. A gap analysis assessment was undertaken to highlight any infrastructure needs to facilitate development of the Strategic Development Areas and support the underlying network to achieve sustainable mode shift. A red, amber, green assessment was subsequently undertaken for the master infrastructure list to identify schemes to be taken forward. This exercise was supported by a review of existing data sources including accident data and highways model data to observe congestion and accident hotspots.
Each of the infrastructure schemes that was taken forward was costed based on standard industry practice and assumptions from existing schemes. The total cost of the transport schemes was over £140 million. A qualitative high level multi criteria sifting exercise has been undertaken to assist with the prioritisation for investment. Committed and potential funding sources were identified for the schemes, including both local council and national funding sources.
Watford Borough Council submitted the Infrastructure Development Plan alongside the Local Plan for consultation in January 2021.