ICE submission to the Built Environment Committee inquiry on housing demand 

ICE’s views on improving the planning and delivery of economic infrastructure to support housing development. It draws on ICE's 2019 State of the Nation report and the institution's responses to the government's Planning for the Future White Paper.

Key points from the response:
  • New homes require sufficient economic infrastructure such as energy, transport and digital networks. Integrated regional housing and infrastructure strategies could mean infrastructure for housing is planned in a far more strategic way, delivering high-quality communities that are aligned with long-term national economic, social and environmental goals.
  • The proposed removal in Planning for the Future of the Duty to Cooperate, without a replacement, risks undermining the strategic planning of housing and infrastructure across boundaries. In addition, careful thought needs to be given to alternative ways of funding infrastructure, including the potential role of the UK Infrastructure Bank.
  • The Development Consent Orders process would almost certainly offer an effective delivery mechanism for large-scale new settlements, but it would need to be integrated more effectively with wider spatial planning. The role of regional infrastructure strategies in effectively identifying this spatial approach is important.
  • Too many housing developments are being built with insufficient regard to the sustainability of the location. Growth areas should be identified based on a strategic view of sites that will be most sustainable and most viable in terms of quality of life, the capacity of infrastructure, and integrated spatial factors such as availability of jobs. At the same time, the National Infrastructure Assessment should 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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