Last edited 13 Jul 2015

Infrastructure bill

NB On 12 February 2015, the new Infrastructure Act became law.

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Details of a new Infrastructure Bill were published by the Department for Transport on 6 April 2014. The Bill is intended to improve the funding, planning, transparency, management and maintenance UK infrastructure and to inject £2.6 billion into the economy over the next 10 years.

The Bill proposes measures relating to:

The proposals are set out below.

[edit] Roads

  • Making the Highways Agency a government-owned company (Highways England) and improving the funding and management of major roads.
  • Creating units within Passenger Focus and the Office of Rail Regulation to represent the interests of road users and to monitor performance.

[edit] Invasive non-native species

  • Protecting infrastructure from invasive plants and animals by the creation of new powers (Species Control Orders) to control invasive, non-native species.

[edit] Nationally significant infrastructure projects

  • Streamlining and simplifying measures in the Planning Act 2008 for processing minor changes to permissions for major projects and simplifying the process for more significant changes.
  • Allowing the examining authority to comprise 2 inspectors to be appointed immediately after an application has been accepted.

[edit] Deemed discharge for certain planning conditions

[edit] Public sector land assets

  • Permitting land to be transferred from arms-length bodies to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to encourage house building.
  • Allowing future purchasers of land to benefit from the suspension of easements and other rights and restrictions by HCA and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

[edit] Land Registry

  • Making it easier and cheaper to register land and property by allowing the Land Registry to take on statutory responsibility for the Local Land Charges register and allowing the Land Registry to take a wider role in the property market.

[edit] Energy

There was some criticism of the proposed Bill, in particular in relation to its impact on ‘fracking’ and the exemption of small sites from the requirements for zero-carbon homes, which is seen to create a significant loophole.

NB on 10 July 2015, the government published ‘Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation’ a government plan for increasing Britain’s productivity. Amongst a great number of wide-ranging changes, the report states, 'The government does not intend to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards, but will keep energy efficiency standards under review, recognising that existing measures to increase energy efficiency of new buildings should be allowed time to become established.'

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references