Research article

Meeting housing need in Cardiff

New infrastructure will help unlock sites to deliver the homes Cardiff needs to support its economic growth

In 2017–2018, 464 new homes were delivered in Cardiff, well short of the Local Plan target of 2,071. Affordable housing requirements are assessed at 6,646 affordable units for the Plan period 2014–2026, equating to 554 units per annum. However, only 194 affordable homes were delivered in 2017-18.

Getting the right infrastructure in place will be essential if Cardiff is to provide enough housing to meet demand. In the Local Plan, significant allocations for residential development have been made, but much of it will be through major urban extensions and new garden suburbs, such as the 7,000 home capacity Plasdwr site at North West Cardiff.

For these developments to be successful, they need to be linked to existing employment centres, so that housing growth can work in tandem with economic growth.

According to TomTom data, Cardiff already experiences journey time increases of over 50% during the morning and evening rush hours. Trying to deliver large volumes of edge of settlement development without supporting it through an integrated rail and bus network will only exacerbate the travel challenges.

This problem could be tackled in part by the South Wales Metro project. The first phase, currently underway is focusing on the existing rail network, linking the valleys with the city The second phase, will focus on an integrated bus, train and tram system, and has the potential to enable edge of settlement developments that aren’t served by rail stations to be integrated to the system.

The final crucial infrastructure piece will be the M4 relief road. The importance of this scheme was highlighted by the January 2019 statement, signed by 90 business figures and council leaders urging the Welsh Government not to delay any further.

If the right transport network is delivered, it will serve to unlock the huge growth potential of the city.

Map 2

Infrastructure and strategic sites
Source: Savills Research

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