Transport & energy infrastructure planning news, December 2018


Transport & energy infrastructure planning news, December 2018

03 Dec 2018



Headline news









Headline news



National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline published

On 26 November, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority released their ‘Analysis of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline’. Published annually, the document sets out planned investments for construction and infrastructure projects across the public and private sector for the next decade. The pipeline helps assessing what skills and resources are needed, whilst creating greater certainty and transparency for investors and the wider supply chain.
The 2018 pipeline sets out over £400 billion of investment, covering 278 individual projects, and 398 programmes. Around £225 billion of the planned investments will be delivered after 2020/21; this includes major projects and ongoing investments such as Thames Tideway Tunnel, Hinkley Point C and the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, as well as investment programmes linked to existing electricity generation and rail infrastructure.
The document also sets out the Authority’s delivery for the past 12 months. In this period, over 400 projects have been completed, including the redevelopment of London Bridge station and the £63 million Rossall coastal flood defence scheme.
The Infrastructure and Projects Authority have also used the opportunity to promote their stance on digital infrastructure, modern methods of construction and offsite manufacturing, and have published a consultation to gain understanding of how prepared the construction sector is to adapt to a new approaches to building.

Infrastructure and Projects Authority, Projects worth £600 billion in the pipeline as government gets Britain building
Infrastructure and Projects Authority, Analysis of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline
Infrastructure and Projects Authority, Proposal for a New Approach to Building: Call for Evidence




Quote of the month

As the pace of technological change accelerates, we are stepping up our commitment to digital infrastructure, use of data to drive greater productivity and embrace new methods of construction. With £600bn of investment over the next decade, including the largest ever investment in our strategic road network, we are taking the longterm action required to raise productivity and ensure the economy is fit for the future.
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick



Investment in transport crucial to delivering Northern Powerhouse

Speaking at the Northern Transport Summit, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling stressed the importance of sustained investment in transport and infrastructure in delivering a positive legacy for the Northern Powerhouse project.
Mr Grayling commented:
‘50 years of transport underinvestment means Northern cities don’t just have poor connections to the rest of the UK – they have poor connections to each other, and within the city regions themselves.’
He went on insisting that northern leaders needed to get behind the HS2 project, arguing the new line bolstered the case for the Northern Powerhouse Rail, the strategic rail project which would connect the key economic centres of the north. He added that strengthened links between labour markets, customers and suppliers, would make the north more attractive for investors, boosting job creation, supporting the delivery of new housing, as well as reducing congestion on the road network.

Department for Transport, Ambitious transport programme is fundamental to the Northern Powerhouse

Electric Vehicles (Standardised Recharging) Bill introduced before Parliament

On 20 November, Bill Wiggin MP introduced a private members Bill before Parliament, proposing to make provisions that would require standardised connections to be used on all new electric vehicle charging points.
Bill Wiggin commented:
‘I believe it would be sensible to follow the approach that computer manufacturers took some time ago, and to create a universal standard for connectors to electric vehicles.’
The provisions would have the effect of allowing electric vehicle owners to use any charging point, irrespective of the connections on their vehicles or the cables they own. The MP also proposed that the operators of charging points should adopt mobile payment technology, to ensure all charging points have a ‘pay as you go option’ that would not require an existing membership.
A second reading of the Bill will take place on 8 March 2019.

House of Commons Hansard, Electric Vehicles (Standardised Recharging)Electric Vehicles (Standardised Recharging) Bill 2017-19


Stansted Airport expansion plans approved

Airfield works to Stansted Airport that would enable its maximum number of passengers to increase from 35 to 43 million a year have been approved by Uttlesford District Council, pending the Secretary of State deciding not to call-in the application for his determination.  Planning permission granted by the Council would also be subject to a s106 agreement to provide various mitigation measures.
The development proposals relate to upgrades to the airfield, including two new taxiways linked to the existing runway and nine additional airport stands, allowing for a maximum of 274,000 aircraft movements per annum.
The Planning officer’s committee report concluded that the proposed works and associated expansion accord with the development plan, and that overall the Environmental Statement demonstrated that there would be negligible negative impacts arising from the proposals. The proposals also reflect the policy approach in the emerging Uttlesford local plan, which states at policy SP2 ‘Sustainable growth of London Stansted Airport will be supported in principle’. 
The proposals form part of Stansted Airport’s wider £600 million investment programme, which includes a new terminal building, upgrades to check-in and baggage areas, as well as upgrades to the car parks and connecting roads, with works expected to commence in 2019.
Action group Stop Stansted Expansion has indicated that it is seeking a judicial review of the decision, and is lobbying the Secretary of State to call-in the application.

Uttlesford District Council Planning Committee Report in respect of application UTT/18/0460/FUL – Stansted Airport applicationUttlesford District Council minutes of 14 November 2018 Planning Committee Report at which planning application UTT/18/0460/FUL – Stansted Airport application was considered (includes audio)

Government publishes response to Cycling and Walking Strategy

On 22 November, the Government published their response to the Department of Transport’s Cycling and Walking Strategy Safety Review. The response includes a number of recommendations to increase the safety of cyclists and pedestrians in order to encourage active travel.
Alongside recommendations for updates to the Highway Code and for greater enforcement to be taken against car parked in cycle lanes, the Government is encouraging local authorities to increase their investment in cycling and walking infrastructure up to 15% of their total transport and infrastructure spending.

Department for Transport, Government’s response to the Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy: safety reviewDepartment for Transport, Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) safety review





Seismic shocks from fracking debated in Parliament

On 20 November, Jim Cunningham MP questioned the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, on what steps the Government was taking to reduce the incidence of seismic activity caused by hydraulic fracturing.
Jim Cunningham’s comments relate to a series of minor earthquakes detected in Lancashire, close to a site where exploratory shale gas drilling has recently been undertaken.
Claire Perry responded that thorough seismic monitoring was in place and went on to clarify:
‘It is a perfectly safe technology. We have to be clear, however, that we are doing this in an environmentally sensitive way. Of course, nobody wants environmental regulations that they cannot defend to their constituents, but we are going through this calmly and soberly; we have excellent science and so far the process is delivering shale gas from these very exploratory fracks, which is something we should all welcome.’

House of Commons Hansard, Hydraulic Fracturing



The Lichfields perspective

Digital innovation opens up many opportunities for the construction industry, with off-site manufacturing being a prime example of this. However, with risk, uncertainty and high barriers to entry, up-take could be low, especially as the economies of scale found in existing construction have not yet developed. For now, the Government can play an important role in advancing this, by procuring services, providing grant funding for small innovative firms, and acting as a platform for sharing data and expertise.
Tom Davies, Planning Researcher


Disclaimer: This publication has been written in general terms and cannot be relied on to cover specific situations. We recommend that you obtain professional advice before acting or refraining from acting on any of the contents of this publication. Lichfields accepts no duty of care or liability for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of any material in this publication. Lichfields is the trading name of Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners Limited. Registered in England, no.2778116