Active Travel England and the implications for larger development schemes

From June 2023, Active Travel England (ATE) is the new formal consultee for all planning applications exceeding 150 residential units, 7,500 square metres of floorspace or five hectares of site land.  ATE’s objective is for 50% of trips in England’s towns and cities to be walked, wheeled or cycled by 2030, enabling users to make healthier, more sustainable travel choices. 

The guidance requires that all routes to local facilities are fully assessed and that new infrastructure is compliant with Local Transport Note 1/20.  Applications which are considered significant in size, location or impact on infrastructure delivery plans, will be assessed using a toolkit approach consisting of 31 rigorous criteria.

Local planning authorities (LPAs) will act as the channel between ATE, developers and the local highway authority and it is anticipated that an ATE pre-application service will be available later in 2023.  The process may add an extra burden to LPA officers and it is not currently clear how communication through LPAs will work in practice.

With wide experience of carrying out similar assessments, Motion is already focused on promoting better walking and cycling opportunities and maximising a site’s connectivity with the wider area.  We recommend that all applications currently under preparation are reviewed to determine the level of new information which may be required to ensure a positive response from ATE.

For further information call Andrew Whittingham on 07766 522911 or email

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