- Updated: 04 November 2020
David Hawkes, ICE Policy Manager
Delivery of economic infrastructure to enable and support new housing developments is vital. There is much scope within the current system to consider infrastructure more strategically instead of seeing it as something that runs as a consequence of development.
The proposals in Planning for the Future recognise a number of challenges within the current planning system and suggest bold action to address them. However, some gaps remain and must be focused on as this work is taken forward.
This response has been informed by ICE’s previous body of work, as well as a roundtable held in association with MHCLG to garner expert opinion on a number of infrastructure-related proposals in the paper.
The submission recommends:
Strategic infrastructure planning must be more prominent through the application of integrated regional infrastructure strategies that include housing, and have read across with MHCLG’s work on devolution.
The proposed new Infrastructure Levy is not appropriate for major infrastructure projects as it would be unable to mitigate the impacts on communities that these projects inevitably have. Some form of the existing developer contribution regime will have to remain for these projects, or exceptions to the levy would need to apply.
The Development Consent Order process almost certainly offers an effective potential delivery mechanism for new large-scale developments, but it would need to be integrated more effectively with wider spatial planning if it is to offer a robust approach. The role of regional infrastructure strategies in effectively identifying a spatial approach is important, as they can recognise the areas suitable for this development.
The target for all homes to be carbon neutral by 2050 is less than ambitious, notably given that the Zero Carbon Homes standard first announced in 2006, but later scrapped, intended for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016. ICE believes that the NIC’s National Infrastructure Assessment should start to identify options for future-proofing new developments, and the government should ensure these evidence-led findings develop into the Future Homes Standard.
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