The Royal Town Planning Institute comments on infrastructure assessment requirements
In August 2016, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) raised concerns about the proposed method of assessing infrastructure requirements in a response to the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) consultation.
The ability to unlock large housing developments should be made an explicit criterion in assessing infrastructure, the RTPI said in its response to a National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) consultation.
This is an opportunity for the government to use infrastructure to help solve the housing crisis, bridge the north-south divide in England and tackle climate change. Our approach would ensure infrastructure acts as a catalyst to unlock large scale housing, jobs and economic growth.
The RTPI is concerned that a method of assessing infrastructure ‘need’, based only on existing patterns of demand would risk continued investment in London and the South East at the expense of other areas.
In its response to the NIC’s consultation on how infrastructure should be assessed and prioritised, the Institute proposes a ‘feedback loop’ methodology whereby the Commission’s proposals for national infrastructure would invite matching plans from local authorities and developers for major housing growth. These plans would then be fed back into the original needs assessment, allowing the Commission to prioritise and fund infrastructure that would unlock housing.
James Harris, RTPI Policy and Networks Manager, said: ‘This is an opportunity for the government to use infrastructure to help solve the housing crisis, bridge the north-south divide in England and tackle climate change. Our approach would ensure infrastructure acts as a catalyst to unlock large scale housing, jobs and economic growth.’
In its response the RTPI also called on the NIC to:
- Assess the impact of different infrastructure plans on the shape and density of the built environment.
- Factor in existing plans and aspirations for local and regional infrastructure, from local government, Local Enterprise Partnerships and private companies, by appointing commissioners with explicit responsibilities for the nations and English regions.
- Examine options for tackling the serious levels of water stress expected in Greater London, the South East and the East of England given their high household growth projections.
- Look at the potential benefits of devolved flood defence spending to combined authorities, and planning for flood risk over an 80-100 year time period.
- Consider the impacts of infrastructure proposals on natural resources and the environment, through an ‘ecosystems approach’ in the assessment.
The UK Government tasked the NIC with identifying the country’s long-term infrastructure needs, creating a strategic infrastructure vision over a 30-year period and making recommendations for how identified infrastructure needs should be met through the publication of a National Infrastructure Assessment. The NIC’s remit covers the UK; although Scotland and Wales have similar national commissions. The RTPI has called for the NIC to work in conjunction with these bodies to ensure a joined-up approach.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Royal Town Planning Institute
- National Infrastructure Commission
- Climate change
- Local Authorities
- Built Environment
- Local Enterprise Partnerships
- Combined Authorities
 External references
- The Royal Town Planning Institute - http://www.rtpi.org.uk/briefing-room/news-releases/2016/august/use-infrastructure-to-unlock-housing-and-growth/
The IHBC seeks to raise awareness and understanding of how building conservation philosophy and practice contributes towards meeting the challenge of climate change.
From Amenity Societies and Wentworth Woodhouse to Kurt Schwitters, Scotland’s Towns, Chester and more...
The former Royal High School building in Edinburgh is to be transformed into a £55 million national centre for music after the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to the lease of the historic property.
The joint-institute document aims to help maintain cultural heritage by providing a consistent framework across different sectors & geographies
IHBC’s Gus Astley Student Awards 2021: Win £500 and a place on IHBC’s 2022 Aberdeen School with your built environment/heritage coursework, closes 31/07!
The last remaining buildings on the site of the Harris meat factory family’s historic mansion are being restored to their former glory and converted into new homes.
The Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum (CICV Forum) has unveiled a new guide to the crucial and increasingly complex issue of professional indemnity insurance (PII).
ICOMOS has advised that the new football stadium proposal, if implemented, would have a completely unacceptable major adverse impact its authenticity and integrity.
Responding to the changing working patterns of a post-Covid Scotland, the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) has revealed new plans to help retrofit public spaces into out-of-town alternatives to city centre offices.
The free-to-access online issue mixes the topical and practical to explore how the sector can best adapt to digital innovation.